Noticed some pimples on your sac skin? Here is an insight into what they may mean, causes and ways to get rid of them.
Are the pimples normal?
The scrotal skin like other parts of your body can also get pimples. This is because there are hairs, pores, and can be afflicted with infectious diseases that have such presentations.
It is not normal. Some pimples may be there for a very short period of time and you would not worry much about this. However, some are persistent and recalcitrant in a way that raises concerns.
There are a number of other causes that will be mentioned later in this article.
When you realize that you have bumps, it is advisable to have them checked by a dermatologist so that they can be treated and more, advised on how to prevent and get rid of future bumps of such nature.
Since bumps are generally caused by many factors, a differential will need to be developed so as to come up with a right diagnosis. Depending on the causes of the bumps, your doctor will be able to table a justified treatment plan that will address the incumbent need.
Before jumping into the causes, it has been identified in most cases that the most common cause is ingrown hairs. Another thing that is worth noting is that there is no preference over the age of a male.
As much as they are nothing much to worry about, they can be responsible for a reduction in the quality of sexual life and a source of embarrassment. Here are some of the causes:
since there are hair follicles on the area, it is possible to get ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs start as folliculitis caused by the backward re-entry of the hair follicle into the skin dermis.
When this happens, an immune response is triggered which acts to inflame the base of the follicle. The resultant inflammation is what is referred to as folliculitis. What predisposes you to such? It could be that:
You have curly long hair
Hair that is curly and long has a higher chancer of re-entry to the skin. This means that you have a genetic predisposition. Individuals who have curly hair such as the African American tend to have a higher incidence and prevalence of this problem.
They also tend to have thicker hair in the pubic region hence increasing the surface area on which ingrown hairs can develop.
You have a poor shaving technique
improper technique of shaving involves not preparing your skin for shaving, shaving against the grain, too close to the skin, with a blunt razor blade and not doing an after-treatment of your skin when you are done shaving.
Such practices are very common and are the leading causes of ingrown hairs and now, ingrown hairs is the leading cause of pimples.
You wear tight clothing
Tight clothing does not give room for straightening of hair and instead presses the hair follicles against the skin. This increases the likelihood that you will get hair that grows backwards into the skin.
Not exfoliating the skin
This could predispose you to accumulation of debris in the pores of the skin hence leading to a clog-up of sweat and sebum among other excretable toxins. When this happens, then the hair instead grown within instead of growing outwards.
Bacterial and yeast infections
Folliculitis can also be caused by infection by various bacteria. It can also be caused by yeast most especially, Candida albicans. Therefore, this may lead to formation of whiteheads. Whiteheads are a type of comedones that are closed and will contain pus when it is an infection.
Normally, infections will manifest as single pimples that are pustular and painful to touch. Bacterial infections may come as a result of poor hygiene while yeast infections could result from improper drying of the skin.
Jock itch is the fungal infection that occurs in the groin area and could also occur. Dermatophytes are the actual group of fungi responsible for the bumps that result thereof. It is normal to find these fungi as normal flora on the skin.
The trigger is usually provision of conducive environments such as lengthy exposure to moisture and warmth. Immunosuppression and personal contact are also risk factors.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
STDs are also a cause of the pimples though at times. Such conditions could be caused by herpes simplex virus which has pimples as one of the commonest features. Therefore, this could not be a pimple per se but a genital wart.
They are however pimple-like. In order to make out the difference between genital warts and pimples, check if the ‘pimple’ resembles a zit and if there is some pus in them. If so, then you have the genital warts.
Another feature is the diffuse nature of the bumps. You will observe that the bumps are lesions that are not localized to a spot but are spread to the adjacent areas.
Such cysts form on the sebaceous glands. These are glands that are found in the skin and therefore virtually everywhere. The sebaceous glands are responsible for the formation of sebum and are quite physiological.
However, these non-cancerous growths on the skin contain sebum and would appear as pimples. The pimples are squeezable and the semi-liquid content can be drained out.
Whiteheads can form on the skin of your organs when there is an accumulation of sebum underneath or if there is an overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands.
When this occurs, whiteheads form. This could further turn into blackheads. When your skin is too oily, you may have a high risk for such eruptions anywhere on the body.
Cancer starts off as a small pimple that is hard. These turn out to be lumps that are larger as the cells multiply. However, the characteristic of this pimple holds that it is felt underneath the skin.
The lump needs to painless and hard to carry the differential diagnosis. This has many men worrying about whether they have testicular cancer and according to the American Cancer Society, if it is persistent and growing in size, have it checked.
This dermatologic condition is named after John Addison Fordyce, an American dermatologist that describes a non-STD condition that looks like granules or spots of prominent sizes ranging from 1 to 3 mm.
They also resemble papules of sebaceous origin occurring due to enlargement of sebaceous glands (Elston and Meffert).
These bumps could appear on the privy among other areas of the body but could be otherwise mistaken for milia or sebaceous hyperplasia. These too, are common causes of pimple-like eruptions on the skin.
Milia are small, white cysts that are benign with keratinous deposits but not sebaceous in origin. Sebaceous hyperplasia bumps have a central umbilication, are larger than Fordyce’s spots ranging from 2 to 5 mm in size.
When the pimples on the are white, then it could mean that:
- You have an ingrown hair – since whiteheads can arise from the blockage of pores or hair follicle, having an ingrown hair may block these passageways of hair follicles and lead to the same. Therefore, whiteheads are a sign that you could have an ingrown hair.
- Infection: since infections are characterized by presence of pus, the pimples arising may therefore be either white or yellow. This is due to the presence of dead white blood cells that extravasated through the capillary walls into the site of the infectious agent. Infections are a serious issue and warrants urgency so that it does not spread. Other infections that are probable include the herpes virus.
- Sebaceous cysts: sebum in a sac could be a reason for the white coloration seen in some pimples. The cyst is normally oily in appearance and on touching.
- Yeast infections: though fungal infections are seen to occur as raised patches most times, pimples may also arise especially on active scratching. A common cause of most fungal infections is the dermatophytes such as the Microsporum, Epidermophyton Tricophyton and the genera.
Are hard and white
You will at times get small hard bumps that disappear after some time. However, if it takes days and weeks to do so, then you need to see a doctor. It may be an underlying condition of cancer.
However, boils are also white at the center top area where the core of the boil is. Boils might occur as complications of ingrown hairs and folliculitis. There being this probability, boils could result in a lump that is hard during the first 1-3 days before it ripens.
The difference however, between the boil and any cancerous growth is the fact that boils are infections that are painful on touching while the other is painless. Boils will ripen and drain themselves out after some days while growths persist and may increase in size.
Vary in size (big and small)
Regardless of the size of a pimple, all sized bumps should be taken seriously. Small bumps could lead to larger more complicated medical conditions if not captured and treated early.
However, the size of the pimple could really help in the development of a lead to a diagnosis. You could tell the severity of the condition by looking at the size and the morphology of the pimple.
How to get rid of pimples on your balls Sack
There are various treatment options for different causes of pimples. Your doctor may advise differently for the following already discussed causes.
Ingrown hairs: you can be able to get rid of ingrown hairs through a number of ways. First, you need to ensure that you:
- Map your shave area well so that you understand to which direction the hair grows. This will be useful for shaving along the grain to prevent backward curling of hair.
- Should prepare the skin well by moisturizing it so that it is not too dry. You can take a hot shower before shaving your pubic hair then follow this up by applying some moisturizer.
- Use a sharp razor blade to avoid re-shaving the same area and increasing the risk for ingrown hair.
- Do not shave too close to the skin as you may push the hair into the skin. Trimming it is just enough.
- Wash the area when you are done with shaving so that you get rid of any hair follicles on the skin.
- After washing with clean water, you will need to apply some after-shave and apply some cream for exfoliation.
The above step will help you prevent re-occurrence of ingrown hair. For that which is present, you can apply some tea tree oil, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, do some sugar scrub, use black tea bags or do some warm and cold compress (for the inflammation and pain respectively)
Bacterial and yeast infections:
Infections that have been diagnosed will require administration of antibiotics. Good thing there are good antibacterial and antifungal agents that would work well.
It is common practice to have antibiotics prescribed with some anti-inflammatory drugs so as to offer their antipyretic effect as infections are associated with some fever.
Since the scrotal area may be a localized infected region, you will do better with a cream too for the antibiotic as well as take oral dosage forms so that the effectiveness is augmented.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs):
Herpes for instance is a virus. Antiviral medications are not effective as much and are not indicated for the treatment of viral infections. In fact, viral infections are not treated.
They are managed and the colony of viruses reduced so that they signs and symptoms are not too prominent. They are however recurrent when the viral load is sufficient to cause another infection.
Some of the antivirals that have been indicted for the management of herpes simplex virus include acyclovir, valacyclovir and famicyclovir.
When valacyclovir (Valtrex) is taken in doses of 2 grams twice daily each day, it typically reduces the symptoms associated with the herpes within a period of 2 to 3 days. It will take a total of 7 days to completely heal.
Acyclovir (Zovirax) is the prototype antiviral agent and is a cream that can be applied onto the bumps. Fortunately, it is able to promote the period of healing and halts the replication of the virus as seen with the valacyclovir.
However, if you choose not to take the antivirals, it will be fine as the viral infection will still take its course. It will take longer but will soon heal by itself.
You will need to cool off some systemic symptoms through intake of enough fluids and taking enough bed rest alongside taking some analgesia for the fever.
Cancerous growth: this will need to be surgically removed. There are chemotherapeutic agents that may be prescribed too. Radiotherapy and cryotherapy are also good options.
Fordyce spots: you can apply aloe vera gel onto the spots. This is due to the beneficial anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties it has. You can mix this with some lemon to act as an astringent and offer some mild antiseptic activity too.
Jojoba oil, coconut oil and tea tree oils are also good alternatives for Fordyce’s spots. For all of these oils, you will need to pour two tablespoonfuls of the oil in a pan then warm and later add some crushed garlic.
Use low grade heat for about 5 minutes then filter the cloves off.
Let the mixture cool then apply on the affected area once daily.
This has not been mentioned before but these spots can be treated through surgical and non-surgical interventions. Non-surgical interventions include the use of:
- Cryotherapy: indicated for genital warts too, nitrogen us used to freeze the spots and has to be done professionally.
- Isotretinoin: you will be able to find this as Accutane or Roaccutane. It is indicated for acne but can also be used for these spots. However, it may result in depression and photosensitivity on prolonged use which are some of the banes.
- Anti-sebum topical cream: there are creams that contain sage, seronoa, sesame and vitamin E which are all good for the reduction of sebum and in addition, absorbs excess oils on the skin.
- Bichloroacetic acid (BCA): provides a topical alternative. It is a caustic agent that destroys the spots as it does with warts. The National Health Services recommends this as a treatment of Fordyce’s spots.
Some of the surgical methods involved are cauterization/Electrodessicaton/Diathermy, Photodynamic therapy, Laser vaporization and Punch excision. They are useful in the destruction of the Fordyce spots.