Cyst on Penis

A cyst on your penis usually isn’t a cause for concern. But, in some cases it could indicate other health problems, like sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you have a skin cyst on your penis, it’s important to schedule a visit with your healthcare provider. They can find out what caused the bump and determine whether treatment is necessary.


Cyst on penis: What is it?

Cysts are fluid-filled bumps. They can appear anywhere on your body, including your penis.

Most of the time, penile cysts are harmless. Still, if you develop a skin cyst on your penis head, shaft or base, you should have it checked by your healthcare provider. They can determine what caused the cyst on your penis and recommend treatment to ease your symptoms.


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How common is it to develop a cyst on my penis?

While some types of penile bumps are quite common, actual cysts on the penis don’t develop often. Penile cysts are usually no cause for concern. Still, it’s never a bad idea to see your healthcare provider.

Symptoms and Causes

What are the symptoms of cyst on penis?

It’s important to know the difference between cysts and bumps caused by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

In general, cysts are:

  • Similar to the color of your skin.
  • Similar to the texture of your skin.
  • Not painful (but may be tender).
  • Not likely to change drastically in size.
  • Hard or firm to the touch.

STD-related bumps usually:

  • Appear in clusters of small bumps.
  • Come and go periodically.
  • Cause some degree of pain.
  • Feel soft to the touch.
  • Form ulcers.

Cysts on penis: What are the different types and causes?

Causes and symptoms can vary depending on the type of cyst you have on your penis:

Epidermoid cysts

An epidermoid cyst on your penis is usually harmless. These cysts are filled with keratin — a protein found in skin, hair and nails. Epidermoid cysts form when skin cells move deeper into your skin instead of sloughing off. Symptoms may include:

  • A small white or yellow bump.
  • A small blackhead in the center of the bump.
  • Redness or inflammation.
  • Drainage.

Epidermoid cysts are more likely to develop on your scrotum, but they can appear on your penis as well.

Sebaceous cysts

These cysts occur when your sebaceous glands (oil-producing glands) become damaged or blocked. Sebaceous cysts usually aren’t painful, but if they become inflamed, they may be tender. Symptoms may include:

  • A small lump under your skin.
  • Drainage.

Penile epidermal inclusion cysts

Epidermal inclusion cysts are common overall, but they rarely appear on the penis. When they do occur, they’re generally a complication of circumcision. Symptoms may include:

  • A movable lump just underneath the skin.
  • A lump that slowly grows larger.

Median raphe cysts

These rare cysts are congenital (present at birth). They develop when tissue becomes trapped near the median raphe nerve in your penis.

Median raphe cysts usually don’t cause problems, but some people may develop symptoms later on in life, including:

  • Swelling in the area.
  • Painful urination (pain when you pee).
  • Changes in urinary frequency (how often you pee).

Is a cyst on my penis contagious?

A true cyst isn’t contagious and can’t spread. However, if you have STD-related bumps, they can spread through sexual contact.


If you have an STD-related bump, it’s important to tell your sexual partners so they can have testing.

Do cysts hurt to touch?

Most of the time, a cyst on your penis doesn’t cause pain. However, if the bump becomes inflamed or irritated, it can be tender to the touch.

Diagnosis and Tests

How is a cyst on penis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will perform a physical examination. If they suspect an STD, they’ll likely request urinalyses, blood tests or cultures to confirm the diagnosis. In some cases, they may recommend a biopsy to rule out other conditions like penile cancer.

Management and Treatment

How do you get rid of a cyst on your pubic area?

In most cases, a cyst on your penis will go away on its own. However, if the cyst continues to be problematic, your healthcare provider may recommend treatment. Options could include:

  • Antibiotics, for infection.
  • Steroid injections, for inflammation.
  • Excision, which includes surgical removal of the entire cyst, including the cyst wall and contents.
  • Drainage, which can alleviate any pressure buildup.

Can you squeeze out a cyst?

Though it may be tempting, you should never squeeze a cyst or attempt to pop it. This can actually send bacteria deeper into your skin, resulting in the formation of more cysts.

Care At Cleveland Clinic


How can I prevent a cyst on penis?

While there’s no way to completely prevent cysts on your penis, avoiding certain risk factors can reduce your chance of developing them. For example, you should:

  • Practice good personal hygiene.
  • Wear a protective cup when playing contact sports to avoid injury to your penis.
  • Avoid extremely vigorous sex.

Outlook / Prognosis

What can I expect if I have a cyst on my penis?

If you notice a cyst on your penis, you should see your healthcare provider right away. They’ll determine what caused the cyst and tell you whether treatment is necessary.

Can a cyst go away on its own?

Yes, a cyst can go away on its own eventually. In most cases, simply keeping the area clean and applying a warm compress can help ease symptoms while your cyst is healing.

How long does it take for a cyst to go away?

Most of the time, a cyst should go away on its own within one month. However, if the cyst becomes inflamed or irritated, it could last longer.

Living With

When should I see my healthcare provider?

Anytime you notice a lump or bump on your penis, you should have it assessed by your healthcare provider. Most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about. But, it’s important to figure out what caused it so you can treat it properly.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Finding a cyst on your penis can be alarming. Most of the time, it’s not a cause for concern. However, to rule out STDs or other underlying conditions, it’s important to have the bump examined by your healthcare provider. If it’s not causing painful symptoms, you may not need to do anything. But there are several treatment options available should it become problematic.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/18/2022.

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