A pimple on the scrotum is usually harmless, but it may also be a sign of a virus or infection. The scrotum can be particularly affected by pimples because sweat and moisture often build up and clog pores in the area.

Sweat and dead skin cells are common causes of pimples. Hence, pimples usually go away without treatment.

The primary cause of pimples is pores that are blocked by:

  • dead skin cells
  • dirt
  • sweat
  • natural body oils

When a pore is blocked, bacteria can build up. This causes redness, a raised area of skin, pus, or sometimes all three.

Types and causes

Pimple on scrotum
Pimples can form on most areas of the body.

Pimples can form in almost any area of the body, and there are several different types:

  • blackheads, which form when oil clogs a pore and the air turns it black
  • whiteheads, which form the same way but remain white as the top of the pore is closed
  • papules or red bumps that often feel sore when touched
  • pustules that have a white tip in their center caused by pus building up
  • nodules or bumps below the surface of the skin, which are often painful

Any one of these forms of pimple may develop on the scrotum.

The cause of a pimple on the scrotum is usually the same as for a pimple on the face or back:

Ingrown hair

An ingrown hair is a common cause of a pimple on the scrotum. This happens when a hair twists and grows back into the skin. It usually creates a red spot that can cause itching or discomfort.

An ingrown hair can happen when hair follicles become blocked with dead skin cells. This causes a hair to grow sideways or inward instead of outward. Pubic hair is usually curlier and coarser than the hair on the head, and this type of hair is more likely to become ingrown.

Ingrown hairs are more common on areas that have been shaved. If someone shaves the hair on or around their testicles, this may cause ingrown hairs.


The hair follicles around an ingrown hair can become inflamed or infected. This is a condition known as folliculitis.

The hair follicles may swell up and fill with pus, and often appear in a cluster.

Heat rash

Heat rash can affect the skin in warm weather. It appears as small, red spots and usually causes an itching or prickling feeling.

Sweating can irritate the rash, so keeping the skin cool can help with symptoms.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Some sexually transmitted infections or STIs can cause spots to form on the scrotum:


  • Herpes causes small blisters to appear on the skin.
  • Syphilis is now a fairly uncommon STI, but it can cause a sore on the skin.
  • Pubic lice, also known as crabs, can cause a rash of small red bumps.

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