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Rough Patch/Bumps on head of penis
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Rough Patch/Bumps on head of penis

Hi,
  I have a matter of concern that I am VERY insterested in getting an outside opinion on.  Withen the past few months I've visited three different dermatologists regarding a skin condition I have on on the head (glans (glands)?) of my penis.  It's very hard to explain, but I'll try my best.  First off, I haven't had sex, so I guess I can rule out an STD. Basically, pretty much the entire top part of the head is "rough", i.e. covered in lots of tiny bumps.  It's different than normal "bumps," however, because they don't seem to have any obvious boundry.  The skin gradually goes from very smooth on the side of the head, to very rough at the top.  Also, the bumps are separatable in rows (I guess the best way to picture it would be a crop).  With two fingers, I can spread the rows apart and the depth between them is enough to actually hold a very small piece of paper between.  But it's only this deep in the center, because it gradually get shallower and smooths out towards the sides of the head.  This is probably the best way I can explain it.  As far as color goes, it seems to be slightly darker (in the rough area) than the rest of the head.  And it's painless, but the left side is significantly more sensitive than the right (not sure if this is related).  And lastly, contrary to what my dermatologists told me, it's MUCH more noticable with an erection. Ok, now that I've laid all that out, I'll move on.  All the dermatologists that I saw told me the same thing, "Don't worry about it.  It's completely normal.  Lots of guys have it.  It's not worth trying to get rid of it."  When I first heard this, I was a little depressed, because I hoping for some resolution.  The reason for that is because it's very unattractive, and it's also very uncomfortable.  Any friction over the rough area feels very strange.  So I waited a little while and then decided to get a second opinion.  This guy told me the same thing, and he also noted that it was less noticable with a erection, which is NOT the case.  He offered to freeze them off, and without thinking about it I said, "Ok."  He left the room and came back minutes later with a small can of liquid nitrogen and a little plastic piece with a hole in it.  He then asked, "So tell me what you want removed.  That one?"  as he pointed at one bump in the middle of hundreds of bumps.  I looked at him, confused, for a moment, then told him "no thanks."   Then, I finally saw a third dermatologist, with a goal in mind to find a way to remove the bumps, whether it be through cream or freezing, etc.  He also recommended that I not try to remove it, but gave me Aldara (IMIQUIMOD) 5% cream when I persisted.  Only later did I realize that the cream he gave me was for genital warts.  I used it for about a month and other than scabbing over once or twice, there was no change at all. What I'd really like to do is get this rough spot "smoothed" out, but my question is what would be the best way.  And also is this condition really normal?
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242489_tn?1210500813
Yes, the condition is really normal.  You don't need treatment for this normal bumpiness and you don't want treatment either, because freezing or application of Aldara won't make a difference (as you've already found out.)  I understand your self-consciousness, but if you've consulted three doctors who certainly know what normal penile skin looks like and they tell you it's normal and OK, then you aren't doing yourself a favor by pressing them to do something about that which there isn't anything to do.  As for the "discomfort" you say this skin appearance brings about, I'm confident that the sensation will go away as soon as you stop carefully examining it.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff
6 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
If this condition is normal, what is it's medical terminology, or what is the name of it at all?  What do you call this? I want to learn more about it because I'm unhappy about it.
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242489_tn?1210500813
They're most likely cysts.  They belong there.  You will probably just have to get used to having them, since they are part of you, and a lot of other people.

Dr. Rockoff
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Avatar_n_tn
Usually cysts aren't good things are they?  Could you possibly elaborate.  More important to me though, I'm really wondering why the patch (EXACTLY as described in the original question, w/o the sensitivity) just showed up a few years ago, coming on over a period of months (I'm in my late 30's).  Also, can this condition get worse?  It looks 'rough' to me now and i suppose if it's normal i could get used to it as it is.  (I've also been told it's normal by several Dr's.)  But i don't want to think it's gonna get more severe than it is.  Dr's comments greatly appreciated.
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Avatar_n_tn
Two comments in addition;  as described in the original question, the roughnes blends into the sides of the head where it is still smooth.  Is it normal for the sides to stay smooth with the patch remaining mostly on the 'top' side?  And, also at the same time, i noticed that it became very bumpy all around the edges of the head too?  Is this also normal and part of the same condition?
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242489_tn?1210500813
Cysts aren't bad--they're just things people get.

I'm perplexed by your repeated questions.  If these changes are normal, as several dermatologists have already told you, then they're normal.  Normalcy can't get "worse," because normal isn't bad to begin with.

Time to accept yourself as you are and move on.

Dr. Rockoff
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