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Avatar universal

Wrongfully Diagnosed?


For the past several months I've had a single, very tiny flesh colored bump on the lower shaft of my penis. I had forgotten about it, until recently and decided to take a picture of it. I also looked at it under a magnifying glass and thought it looked like it could be wart. Also, foolishly I picked at it a bit and it started to bleed.  I covered it and decided to go to Planned Parenthood to have it checked out. After looking at lots of pictures on the internet, I was starting to fear it was a wart so, I thought they would be the experts. Like I said, the bump is very tiny, circular, and has never grown in size or multiplied. It doesnt appear cauliflower like (even under the magnifying glass), but does have what looks like black dots on its surface. These seem to show up on the picture also, but the photo does make it look worse. Also, it was hard for me to really see using the magnifying glass. Out of the dozens of pics I saw on the net, only two looked like what I have, but mine appears much smaller. The attending at PP looked at it under a light. She told me that the damage made it hard to see what it was, but looking at the "tag" left from the damage did not look like a wart. She also did the vinegar test with no reaction. I showed her the picture and questioned her several times on the effectiveness of the vinegar test, the picture, and being able to tell what it was despite being damaged. She was insistent that it wasnt a wart, but a skin tag or possibly due to my shaving the area or friction irritation given I masturbate with a cloth. I am a sexually active gay male, but never engage in anal sex. Within the last year I've only participated in oral sex and of course naked body rubbing which resulted in genital to genital contact. Even with this, she told me warts were not my issue and that after the damage healed, she would burn off the tag. Should I trust her judgment? I am still overly searching the net and looking at photos. Thanks in advance.
3 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.

From your detailed description, I am inclined to agree with the Planned Parenthood clinician.  This doesn't sound like a genital wart, and your description is typical for a skin tag.  In any case, direct exam by a knowledgeable health care professional is inherently more accurate than any guess that can be made by a distant expert in a forum like this.  So my advice is that you should trust the PP clinician's judgment.

I hope this helps.  Happy new year--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thanks for the quick reply and expert advice. I would like to follow up with a few quick questions. I'll number them so they are brief.

1. Would a skin tag present itself as a raised bump? The "tag" she identified was the flap left over after I had picked at the bump. Before I picked it, it was a bump, but it did fairly easily come up while picking it.

2. I've tried to help it heal by putting Neosporin on the area. To the naked eye it looks like the remaining bump and tag have disappeared. Only after a shower can you see a bit of it remaining. The area has some itching now also. Is it likely to come back or even spread to other areas of my body? I worry that if it was a wart it will spread to look like some of the photos I've seen on the net.

3. I've been constantly cleaning fixtures. Would what I have or even warts be easily spread to my roommates by touching objects after I do, Such as doorknobs, fixtures in the bathroom?

4. The attending told me I could resume sexual practices. Is that okay?

Thanks again sir, this tiny bump has consumed me for the last few days and appreciate your kindness and patience.
239123 tn?1267651214
Wow.  You're really obsessed with HPV and warts, aren't you?  Even if you had a wart, what would be the big deal?  Nobody wants genital warts, but they are a minor inconvenience, not an important health threat. But all the evidence is against HPV/wart anyway.

1) This sounds like a typical skin tag.

2) Any wounded skin would behave like you describe, and wouldn't cause any problem if it were a wart after all.

3) HPV is never transmitted by contaminated objects in the environment.  

4) As I said, you can and should rely on the medical advice of the health care provider(s) who have examined you.

If this thing continues to "consume you", I would strongly recommend professional counseling.  It is not normal to remain fixated on something in the face of such strong scientific evidence and the reasoned reassurance you have had from both your doctor/clinic and this forum -- and especially for such a trivial health problem!  In any case, there is nothing more this forum can offer, so I won't have any furhter comments or advice.
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