The term sebaceous prominence refers to a skin condition affecting only men and is characterized by small, white bumps located on the shaft or base of the penis. This condition is also referred to as penis pimples, as the white bumps only manifest on the skin of the penis. Sebaceous prominence is not dangerous, painful, or contagious, although it is often mistaken for a sexually transmitted disease. Many men with this disorder suffer from social embarrassment, leading them to avoid intimate contact or attempt to hide the condition. Symptoms sometimes disappear on their own, though there is always the possibility the blemishes will reappear at some point in the future.
Almost every area of the body has sebaceous glands located in the skin. These glands are responsible for secreting sebum, a naturally occurring oil, used to lubricate and moisturize the skin. For most men, the sebaceous glands located on the penis perform their function correctly and no skin problems ever manifest. In the event the sebaceous glands over produce sebum, the result is clogged pores that appear as small, white, hard lumps visible on the base and, in some cases, the shaft of the penis. Fortunately, the blemishes are not painful and do not affect the health of the penis or testicles in any negative way.
Sebaceous prominence is similar to other types of acne and is caused by clogged pores of the skin around the base of penis. The pimples or blemishes may appear singularly or in groups varying in number, and can develop either in rows or sporadically. The biggest concern related to sebaceous prominence is social embarrassment as well as overcoming the stigma associated with sexually transmitted disease, even though these blemishes are not contagious and can not be contracted through sexual contact. Most medical experts recommend men with this condition explain the situation to new partners to eliminate misconceptions.
There are no known treatments for sebaceous prominence, and men affected are advised to learn to cope with the skin condition. Some patients prick or pop the blemishes to remove the sebum secretion from the skin. The white pus or excess sebum can be removed this way but this technique rarely works on men with multiple pimples, is painful and uncomfortable, and may introduce bacteria or infection to a very sensitive area of the anatomy. If the patient insists on seeking treatment, it is best to consult a dermatologist for professional medical advice.