If you observe white spots or blisters on your testicles, it may be a pimple or sign of jock itch. Other times, it may also be a sign of an STI.

Many things can cause white spots to form on your testicles. For example, they could be caused by a condition you were born with, or they may develop if you don’t bathe often enough. White spots are also a common symptom of certain sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Read on to learn more about what may be causing your symptoms and how to treat it.

Ingrown hairs occur when trimmed or shaved hairs curl and grow backward into your skin. This leads to irritation, and irritation can lead to infection.

If infection occurs, it can produce bacteria-filled pus that makes spots of irritation look white. These spots can get itchy, but avoid scratching or trying to pop them. Doing so can make an infection worse.

What treatment options are available?

Ingrown hairs are usually temporary and will often resolve without treatment. If you want to speed the process along, you can:

  • use a gentle exfoliant on the area to help loosen dead skin cells and allow the hair to break through
  • apply an antiseptic substance to soothe inflammation
  • apply over-the-counter steroid creams, like hydrocortisone (Cortizone-10), to ease itching

If the hair hasn’t released itself from the skin after a week of home treatment, talk with a doctor or other healthcare professional. They can remove the hair using a sterile needle and prescribe an antibiotic cream to help prevent infection.

Pimples develop when dead tissue or oil gets stuck in your pores, causing a blockage. This allows bacteria to grow and fill the pore with infected pus. Infected pus is what makes the head of a pimple appear white.

Pimples are usually harmless and will clear in time. It’s best not to pop a pimple. This can make the inflammation worse or lead to permanent scars. Try to let pimples disappear on their own.

What treatment options are available?

You can help heal most pimples by applying benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to the affected area. This will help clear bacteria, oil, and excess skin cells. However, avoid using acne medication intended for your face or other parts of your body on your testicles.

If you think you may be breaking out on your testicles or groin area, talking with a dermatologist is a good place to start.

Jock itch, also known as tinea cruris, can develop if fungi infect the area around your genitals, butt, and thighs. It’s usually associated with excessive sweating, which is why it’s often associated with athletes.

Jock itch can also be caused by a fungal overgrowth around your genitals from poor hygiene or obesity.

In addition to white spots, you may experience:

  • red bumps or spots
  • a circular red rash
  • small blisters around the rash
  • dry, flaky skin

What treatment options are available?

Adopting good hygiene practices can help clear jock itch quickly.

This includes:

  • washing regularly, especially after activities that cause you to sweat
  • wearing loose-fitting cotton underwear to allow airflow
  • applying a sweat-absorbent powder or spray

You can also use an over-the-counter (OTC) antifungal cream, like clotrimazole (Lotrimin), or steroid ointment, like hydrocortisone (Cortizone-10), to help ease your symptoms.

If your symptoms don’t clear after a week or two, talk with a healthcare professional. They may prescribe an antifungal like terbinafine (Lamisil) to clear the infection.

Pilar cysts can develop when a hair follicle gets filled with keratin, a protein that makes up your nails and hair. This can cause a white or red bump to appear where the follicle is.

These cysts typically form in areas of dense hair, like your scalp or scrotum, and often appear in clusters. They can swell if they get infected, making them larger and more irritating or painful.

What treatment options are available?

If you suspect that you have a pilar cyst, talk with a healthcare professional. They may recommend:

  • Enucleation. A healthcare professional will use tools to pull the cyst out of the follicle. This process shouldn’t damage your skin or the surrounding tissues.
  • Micro-punch surgery. A healthcare professional will use a device that pokes through your skin to remove the cyst and its surrounding tissues through the follicle opening.

Folliculitis occurs when the follicles that hold your hair become inflamed or infected. This may result from a bacterial infection, fungal infection, or ingrown hair.

Although folliculitis can be itchy, it usually isn’t harmful unless it results from an infection that goes untreated.

Talk with a healthcare professional right away if you begin experiencing:

  • burning or itching
  • pus or discharge from white bumps or blisters
  • pain or tenderness around the bumps

What treatment options are available?

Folliculitis can usually be treated with OTC antibacterial or antifungal cream, such as Neosporin or Terrasil.

If your condition doesn’t improve within a week, talk with a healthcare professional. They may recommend prescription antibiotics, such as cephalexin (Keflex) or doxycycline (Vibramycin).

In severe cases, procedures to drain and clean larger infections may be needed.

If you frequently get folliculitis, a healthcare professional may recommend laser treatment to remove the hair follicles.

Fordyce spots happen when sebaceous glands, which moisturize your skin and are usually covered by your outer layer of skin, become enlarged and appear as tiny white spots.

These spots are harmless. They can appear almost anywhere on your body, including your scrotum and penis. You’re usually born with them, though they may not appear until you go through puberty.

What treatment options are available?

Treatment is usually not recommended unless you want them removed.

Your options for removal may include:

  • Laser treatment. A healthcare professional will use a laser to remove tissue and minimize the appearance of Fordyce spots.
  • Micro-punch surgery. A healthcare professional will use a device to poke through your skin and remove the tissue that’s causing the Fordyce spots.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is an STI that’s transmitted through sex without a condom or other barrier method. Genital warts are a common symptom. These warts resemble white or red bumps, and may appear around your scrotum and genital area.

Genital warts don’t usually last long or cause any long-term complications. They may remain longer if your immune system is compromised, or if you pass the infection back and forth with multiple sexual partners.

What treatment options are available?

If you suspect that you have genital warts or HPV, visit a healthcare professional for a diagnosis.

They may recommend:

  • Topical medication. A healthcare professional will apply a solution that can help your immune system clear the wart.
  • Laser surgery. A healthcare professional will use laser surgery to break apart and remove the warts.
  • Cryosurgery. A healthcare professional will use liquid nitrogen to freeze the warts, which will cause them to break off of your genital area.

Herpes is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. Blisters, which look like white or red bumps, are a common symptom.

Other symptoms may include:

  • redness
  • irritation
  • itching
  • blisters that burst and release fluid

What treatment options are available?

If you suspect that you have blisters from herpes simplex virus, visit a healthcare professional for a diagnosis.

A healthcare professional will likely prescribe antiviral medication to help your body fight the infection. Although these medications can’t kill the virus, they can help speed up the healing time of your sores and reduce pain.

Common options include:

These medications may be taken at the first sign of an outbreak to help reduce your symptoms. A healthcare professional may also recommend anesthetic ointments, such as lidocaine (Lidoderm), to help reduce your discomfort.

White spots on the testicles could be caused by a number of issues, from the benign to the more serious.

Many of the issues revolve around folliculitis, which is inflamed hair follicles. STIs and fungi (such as the case of jock itch) can also cause white spots.

Because there can be a variety of causes of white spots on the testicles, preventing them is directly related to preventing the specific causes.

Practicing good hygiene (especially after shaving and physical activity) using barrier methods during sex are two effective ways to prevent many of the typical causes of white spots.

Treatment for these spots will depend on the cause.

While many of the causes of white spots can be treated topically at home, some of them, such as herpes, have to be treated by a doctor.

Laser or surgical treatments are also available options.

White spots that appear on your testicles aren’t always a cause for concern. They usually disappear within a few days or weeks. If your symptoms last longer than a week or two, see a doctor or other healthcare professional for a diagnosis.

It’s especially important to talk with a doctor if you begin experiencing:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • dry, cracked skin
  • irritation or redness
  • rash
  • clear or white discharge
  • clusters of 20 or more red or white bumps

STIs can lead to long-term complications if left untreated, so it’s important to get medical attention if you suspect this to be the cause.