Your scrotum contains many hair follicles and pores that are subject to ingrown hairs, pore blockage, and other common causes of pimples. In these cases, you can treat your pimples at home and they’ll usually go away in a few days.
In other cases, a pimple or discolored bumps on your scrotum may be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or other infectious condition that may need to be diagnosed and treated by your doctor.
Read on to learn how to identify the symptoms of a scrotum pimple, what symptoms should urge you to visit your doctor, and how you can treat a simple scrotum pimple at home.
Pimples are recognizable by their bump-like shape, redness or discoloration, oily texture, and the presence of white pus in the middle of the bumps. These types of pimples are called whiteheads. Sometimes, whiteheads “pop” and release white pus. Pus can also dry out and become darkened in color — these pimples are known as blackheads.
Pimples can appear one at a time, or in clusters. Clustering of pimples is especially common in your scrotum, because it’s often:
- irritated from rubbing against your clothing
- experiencing moisture buildup
- pushed against other parts of the body for long periods of time
On your scrotum, pimples may look like a collection of tiny bumps in one area or even all around the thin scrotum tissue.
Common causes of harmless scrotum pimples include:
- Folliculitis. This condition happens when a hair follicle gets infected by bacteria or fungi. Folliculitis is often accompanied by a rash or noticeable redness along with pimples.
- Sebaceous cysts. When skin oil, known as sebum, builds up and blocks the sebaceous gland that produces the oil, a cyst can form in the adjacent hair follicle.
Some symptoms that accompany a scrotum pimple may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as an STI, skin condition, or other underlying condition. Pimples are often caused by irritation or infection in follicles or pores, but can also be a symptom of an STI caused by bacteria or a virus.
See your doctor right away if you notice any of the following symptoms along with your scrotum pimples:
- itchiness or pain around the pimple
- pain when urinating
- inflammation of the testicles or scrotum skin
- sores on or around your penis, inner thighs, anus, or buttocks
- large blisters that burst and release discolored pus
- large areas of white or red bumps
- scab formation as blisters heal
- swelling around your genital area, especially your testicles
- hard lumps in your testicles
- white or clear discharge from your penis
These symptoms can indicate an STI, such as:
Lesions or irritations on your scrotum can also indicate testicular cancer. This may be more likely if you find any lumps or growths inside your scrotum around your testicles. See your doctor immediately if you find lumps in your scrotum.
Regular scrotum pimples can be treated at home in several ways:
- Apply a warm, wet washcloth to the area around the pimples. Do this for at least 20 minutes, 4 times daily. Put two drops of tea tree oil on the washcloth to help clean out oils.
- Apply a small dose of castor oil to the pimple. Castor oil is a natural antibacterial agent that can help reduce infection.
- Use a gentle soap and a washcloth to rinse the area around the pimple when you shower or bathe.
- Mix a tablespoon of corn starch with clean, room-temperature water and apply the mixture to the pimple and the surrounding area. Let the mixture dry for about 15 minutes, then wash it off with warm water. Pat the area dry with a clean towel afterward.
- Use a topical antibacterial cream or ointment on the pimple to help reduce bacteria and fungi in and around the pimple. Regular antibacterial creams like Neosporin or Bacitracin will work for pimples. Your doctor may recommend medicated ointments, such as triple antibiotic ointments that contain polymoxin B sulfate, bacitracin zinc, and neomycin.
Other household items that can help reduce pimples include:
- witch hazel
- apple cider vinegar
- burdock, especially in a tea
If your scrotum pimples don’t go away or don’t look any better after several days or weeks of home treatment, see your doctor. They may prescribe oral antibiotics to help reduce your scrotum pimples. Common antibiotics for pimples caused by conditions like folliculitis include doxycycline and minocycline.
To keep scrotum pimples from returning after you’ve treated them, try the following hygiene tips to make sure your scrotum stays clean:
- Shower or bathe regularly. Take a bath or shower at least once a day or every couple of days.
- Don't wear underwear made of synthetic materials. Wear 100% cotton underwear instead to allow air flow around your genitals.
- Don’t wear tight clothing. Wearing tight pants or underwear can make pimples more likely to develop.
- Don’t tweeze, pluck, or wax your scrotum hairs. This can irritate your follicles and skin. Talk to your doctor about what hair removal methods might be a good alternative.
- Wear a condom when you have sex. Protection during sex can help reduce your exposure to bacteria, viruses, and other foreign material that can cause scrotum pimples or STIs.
See your doctor right away if you notice any unusual rashes, redness, swelling, discharge, or testicle lumps that may indicate cancer.
Scrotum pimples are usually nothing to worry about. Using home treatments and having good hygiene can help reduce and prevent pimples on your scrotum.