Dear Charlotte: Have I caught genital warts?

Dear Charlotte,

I’ve just started dating and I’ve been having a little fun with a girl, after she went home I jumped into the shower to get washed. Whilst I was washing my bits I felt little lumps on my balls. I dried myself off and got a mirror and had another look. They look like spots on my balls small in size with what looks like yellow heads, there’s about 10 of them, have I caught genital warts?

Jake

 

Hi Jake,

Firstly, thank you for the taking the time to message me, this can be challenging for anyone to ask in a blog so again well done for taking the strength to share.

Secondly, I need to find out a little more information to give you a clearer diagnosis.

There could be a few reasons as to why you now have spot like entities on your scrotum

So, lets try and explain what they could be…

Spots – Spots or abnormal patches of skin on the penis could be a sign of molluscum contagiosum (MC). The lesions are usually less than 5mm across with a central dimple. They’re usually firm, raised and painless and may appear in clusters. They may rupture to give out a yellowy-white substance. Treatment isn’t always recommended as MC usually clears up by itself. The virus is highly infectious and squeezing or scratching the lesions could cause it to spread.

The other option is where the hair follicles of ingrown hairs can sometimes become infected and inflamed. This is known as folliculitis.

The hair follicles will swell into pus-filled spots, although pus doesn’t always mean there’s an infection.

Again, mild cases of folliculitis often clear up without treatment, so try not shaving for a few days and see if it gets better. You could also try dabbing a mild antiseptic, such as tea tree oil, on to the affected area.

See your GP if the spots don’t improve and are bothering you. If one particular spot is a problem, your GP may be able to release the ingrown hair using a sterile needle.

Blister – Painful red blisters that burst to leave open sores on and around your penis could be a sign of genital herpes, a virus usually caught through sex. Many people don’t know they have it because there are often few or no initial symptoms. Although there’s no cure, genital herpes can be effectively controlled using antiviral drugs.

Fleshy growths – Small fleshy growths that are firm and raised with a rough surface could be genital warts, a common type of sexually transmitted infection (STI). You may have a single wart or clusters of warts, with a cauliflower-like appearance. Genital warts are usually painless and don’t pose a serious threat to health, but they can be itchy and unpleasant to look at. They’re usually treated using prescription creams or by freezing.

The best thing for you to do, is not go on line and scare yourself with what they could be, but go see your GP and find out exactly what they are.

I hope that helps, let me know how it goes.

Charlotte

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