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Most people get pimples from time to time, and while they certainly aren’t pleasant, there are some areas of the body on which the sight of a pimple can cause all-new levels of panic. For men, a pimple on the penis can be truly unsettling, even though this skin symptom isn’t necessarily cause for alarm. Still, it is important to rule out an STD through STD testing.
Although a single pimple may be harmless, several pimples in the penile region may spell trouble in the form of an STD like herpes, especially if the spots in question start to blister and cause pain. The tricky thing about identifying this symptom as a herpes infection is that some herpes sores don’t cause discomfort and are, in fact, barely noticeable.
Herpes testing for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 is a good idea if a single pimple on the penis (or a cluster) is present and especially is accompanied by other unusual symptoms like body aches and fever.
Sometimes, a pimple on the penis is exactly that and nothing more. As most men can probably confirm, the genital region tends to get a bit sweaty sometimes, and as a result, it’s not so unusual for the occasional pimple on the penis to form. If a single zit pops up and isn’t causing overall genital discomfort, it’s reasonable to wait a few days and see if it simply goes away on its own. If it doesn't go away, or if it is painful or itchy, STD testing is an appropriate next step.
Whether it’s a single pimple on the penis or multiple spots or bumps, getting rid of the problem is likely to take top priority. The first step in eliminating this symptom is figuring out whether it’s just a pesky blemish or an actual herpes symptom. STD testing is the only accurate way to diagnose herpes infection.
Once a cause is determined, different remedies can be used to make a pimple on the penis disappear. If herpes is to blame, antiviral medication (available via prescription from our staff doctors) can alleviate this and other symptoms, as well as prevent them from recurring. And if the source is plain old acne, then getting rid of a pimple on the penis may be a simple matter of wearing loose-fitting underwear and treating the area with soap and warm water.
Genital herpes symptoms can be vague and misleading. Many people expect a genital herpes outbreak to consist of the "textbook" sores and blisters. However, outbreaks often mild and mistaken for other common conditions such as genital acne, jock itch and shaving irritation to name a few. A pimple on the penis could be nothing more than a pimple, but it could also be a sign of herpes. Also, many people never experience symptoms of genital herpes, despite being positive for the virus.
Written and researched by Abby Morgan