A bump on your scrotum isn’t usually a serious problem. But some bumps may be a sign of an underlying condition.
We’ll lay out the causes that you shouldn’t be concerned about as well as the ones that might warrant a trip to the doctor. We’ll also review treatment options for each cause.
Here’s a quick overview of the causes we’ll cover:
Here are some of the possible causes of a bump on your scrotum, including minor conditions and more serious conditions.
Your scrotum has many follicles that contain hairs. These follicles can experience pimples for a number of reasons, including:
- ingrown hairs
- pore blockage
- buildup of dirt and oils from sweating or not bathing regularly
Pimples are easy to spot because of their recognizable symptoms:
- bumpy, circular shape
- reddish or discolored appearance
- oily or greasy surface
- white pus in the middle of the bumps (whiteheads) or darkened spot where pus has dried out (blackheads)
Pimples are only a minor issue.
A sebaceous cyst happens when air, fluid, or another substance gets trapped inside a sebaceous gland. These glands contain an oil called sebum that helps keep your skin coated and protected.
These cysts are benign and not a cause for concern.
A spermatocele happens when a cyst grows in the epididymis, a tube in each of your testicles that contains fluid and unused sperm. It doesn’t cause any pain, but you can feel a spermatocele as a tiny, firm lump underneath the skin of the scrotum.
Spermatoceles are harmless and can’t become cancerous. They can grow and cause pain, discomfort, and a sensation of swelling in your scrotum.
They also share some symptoms with cancerous testicular masses. See a doctor to get your scrotum examined to make sure the mass isn’t cancerous.
A varicocele happens when a vein in your scrotum becomes enlarged.
This type of vein abnormality only happens in the scrotum, and more commonly in the left side of your scrotum, but varicoceles are a lot like varicose veins that can happen in your leg.
They’re usually not worth worrying about, but some of them can affect your fertility.
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can result in bumps known as herpetic sores. These sores can become blisters that fill with infected fluid, which oozes out and causes pain when they’re broken open.
There are two types of herpes: HSV-1, the cause of cold sores, and HSV-2, the cause of genital herpes. HSV-2 can be transmitted through any kind of oral, anal, or genital sexual contact not protected by condoms or other barrier methods. It can also be transmitted through any infected spit, semen from the penis, or fluids from the vagina.
Genital herpes can’t be cured, but your doctor may be able to give you treatments that help reduce outbreaks or keep it from spreading.
Scrotal or testicular mass
A scrotal mass happens when you have a lump, bulge, or some kind of swelling within your scrotum.
A number of things can cause a scrotal mass, such as swelling from an injury or infection, fluid build-up, or a non-cancerous
Orchitis happens when your testicles become swollen due to an infection from a virus or bacteria. It typically happens to a single testicle at a time, but it can happen to both.
Here are some common signs of orchitis:
- swelling or tenderness around your testicles
- pain when you pee or ejaculate
- blood in your pee or semen
- unusual discharge from your penis
- swelling in the lymph nodes around your groin
This condition isn’t necessarily a major cause for concern, but see your doctor to get treatment for any bacterial or viral infections to prevent any complications or damage to your testicles.
Testicular cancer can happen to just one or both of your testicles. It usually starts as a small tumor in germ cells that make sperm inside your testicles.
See a doctor right away if you believe you have testicular cancer. The sooner it’s treated, the more likely it can be removed and stopped from spreading.
Idiopathic scrotal calcinosis
Idiopathic scrotal calcinosis (SC) is a rare condition in which large, discolored, lumpy bumps grow on the outside of the scrotum.
These lesions can be anywhere from a millimeter to a few centimeters across. They don’t usually cause any pain or result in any development of cancerous tissue.
See your doctor if you’re concerned about their appearance or to rule out cancer as a cause.
Here are some treatment options for each of the possible causes of bumps on your scrotum.
For a pimple
- Cleaning. Wash the pimple every time you bathe and put tea tree oil or castor oil on the pimple to clean it out.
- Cornstarch. Put a mixture of corn starch and clean water on the pimple to help absorb the oil.
- Antibacterial cream. Apply an antibacterial cream like Neosporin or ointment on the pimple to kill fungus and bacteria buildup.
For a sebaceous cyst
- Drainage. A doctor can drain the cyst to keep it from getting larger.
- Permanent surgical removal. A doctor may cut out the cyst with a scalpel or use a laser to drain the cyst and remove the remains at another appointment.
For a spermatocele
- Drainage. A doctor may drain the spermatocele with a needle or insert an irritation agent that keeps fluid from building up again.
- Permanent surgical removal. A doctor may remove the spermatocole with a scalpel or laser techniques.
For a varicocele
- Surgical clamping or tying off. A doctor may clamp or tie off the affected blood vessel to allow normal blood flow.
- Inserting a catheter. A doctor may insert a catheter into the affected vessel to allow normal blood flow.
For genital herpes
- Antiviral medication. A doctor may prescribe antiviral medication to control outbreaks.
- Regular cleaning during outbreaks. When you bathe, pay particular attention to the scrotum area during outbreaks.
For a testicular mass
- Pain medication. A doctor may prescribe pain medication for pain and discomfort.
- Surgical removal. A doctor may remove the mass with a scalpel or laser techniques.
- Orchiectomy (testicle removal). For severe cases, a doctor may remove the testicle.
- Antibiotics. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics for bacterial orchitis.
- Antiviral medication. A doctor may prescribe antiviral medication for viral orchitis.
- Urine or semen sample. A doctor may ask for a urine or semen sample for an STI diagnosis.
For testicular cancer
- Surgical removal. A doctor may surgically remove the tumor.
- Radiation or chemotherapy. A doctor may recommend radiation or chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells.
For scrotal calcinosis
- Surgical removal. A doctor may surgically remove the lesions.
If necessary, a doctor will run
See your doctor right away if you notice any of the following symptoms along with bumps on your scrotum:
- intense pain or discomfort in your scrotum
- abnormal discharge from your penis
- pain when you pee or ejaculate
- blood in pee or semen
- throwing up
- abnormal weight loss
A bump on your scrotum isn’t usually much to worry about.
But see your doctor if you’re experiencing any uncomfortable, painful, or disruptive symptoms, or if you have any concerns about the bump being cancerous or having long-term complications.
If you don’t already have a primary care provider, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.