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Itty Bitty Penis Bumps? Maybe lichen nitidus

All men want to make sure they practice proper penis care, so it is to be expected that they regularly examine their penises for signs of irregularities that may need to be explored. (Hopefully those irregularities aren’t there, but a man doesn’t know unless he checks them.) But when it detects something different, it can be difficult to know if it is cause for alarm or not. Take as an example the bulges of the penis. In some cases, they could be a sign of something serious, like a sexually transmitted infection (STI). But in many cases, they are caused by something much more benign. That is the case when the bulges on the penis are due to lichen nitidus (LN).

What is lichen nitidus (LN)?

Most people have never heard of LN, which is not unusual. It is quite a rare problem for men or women. As with many things that cause bumps on the penis, it is a skin condition. It occurs as a result of abnormal inflammatory conditions in skin cells, although what causes the inflammation is currently unknown.

Normally, when the body detects an infection, it produces white blood cells called T lymphocytes and sends them into action to defeat the infection. But in the case of LN, the body is producing these T cells in response to a false alarm; there is no infection that needs to be fought, but something is happening in the body that it mistakenly thinks is an infection.

With LN, these extra white blood cells cause tiny, skin-colored bumps to appear on an area or areas of the body. Although this article deals with bumps on the penis, NL can occur anywhere on the body. These bumps are quite distinctive in that they tend to “shine” a bit. Because they are very small, usually 1 to 2 millimeters, and because they are essentially flesh-colored (a light pink in light-skinned people, a lighter brown or black in darker-skinned people, etc.), they may not be noticeable for a while. They can itch, but this is less common than with other conditions that cause lumps on the penis.

It’s not serious

As mentioned above, LN is considered a benign condition. It may cause some inconvenience, but on its own it is not dangerous. It is also not infectious and cannot be transmitted to another person through contact. So a person can have a sexual commitment to another person without worrying about spreading it.

Still, it is a good idea to see a doctor for a diagnosis that confirms that LN and not another condition is responsible for the presence of lumps on the penis. Also, LN sometimes occurs alongside other problems, such as eczema or Crohn’s disease, so being screened for LN can lead to the discovery of another condition that may require treatment.


LN usually goes away on its own and does not require treatment. If the condition is itchy, antihistamines may be prescribed to ease the urge to scratch. If the condition is long-lasting, a doctor may prescribe other treatments, such as a topical application of vitamin A, the use of corticosteroids, or phototherapy (which is the use of light to treat a condition).

Bumps to the penis caused by LN can also be helped by regular application of a penis health cream to the top drawer. (Health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven to be gentle and safe for the skin). It is advisable to look for a cream that includes vitamin A, which, as stated above, is often prescribed to treat LN. Additionally, vitamin A has antibacterial properties known to help combat lingering odor from the penis. In addition to this vitamin, the cream should also include vitamin D. Sometimes called the “miracle vitamin,” vitamin D has proven benefits in fighting disease and supporting healthy cell function.