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Red dot on the head of penis which is visible in bright fluorescent light. What is this?

Answered by
Dr. Prasad

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 3249 Questions

Posted on Fri, 29 Nov 2013 in General Health
Question: Once in a while, when I use the washroom at work, under the bright fluorescent lights I will sometimes notice a very small red dot on the head of my penis. Later, when I go home, I often cannot see it again under normal lighting conditions. It does not grow or itch or leak liquid or anything like that. It is barely noticeable and will disappear. I once took a super close-up photo with a professional grade camera and you couldn't really see what I was talking about. I should note that my noticing this follows a bout of sexual hypochondriasis on my part. I have seen doctors to reassure me. One said one of these dots I showed him was a pearly penile papule; another said, "That's nothing"; and another said, "I don't even think there's a name for that" because it was so mundane and normal and insignificant. Nonetheless, once and for all, I would like to know what this is called and what causes these kinds of dots, barely noticeable, dependent on bright fluorescent light?
Answered by Dr. Prasad 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Cherry hemangioma is a possibility Detailed Answer: Hi, Skin conditions are diagnosed based on specific appearance of lesions. It would be extremely difficult for any physician to name the condition when a lesion is very minuscule and seen under a fluorescent light. Off course this condition is not going to be a sinister problem especially when it hasn't changed characteristic and you are completely asymptomatic. If you are still looking for a name for the spot as it is red in colour, it may be a minute cherry hemangioma. Needless to say, cherry hemangioma is a harmless condition. Hope this helps. Let me know if you need clarification. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
Follow up: Dr. Prasad 27 minutes later
Regarding cherry hemangioma, I read that it doesn't go away on its own. In my situation, I'll notice it for a day or two and then not again. I'm looking now and could it just be a tiny vein or a natural groove in the skin? We are talking TINY.
Answered by Dr. Prasad 38 minutes later
Brief Answer: Yes, normal structure as mentioned can be possible Detailed Answer: Hi, Hemangioma can be ruled out if the spot appears on and off. In this instance, the only other possibility is randomly appearing capillary prominence. As penis is filled with plenty of capillaries, a few superficial capillaries that get filled with blood might be seen as a red spot. As the blood drains, the spot disappear. Tiny vein or a natural groove appearing red are possible if the spots appear at the same place. In all probabilities, these occasional tiny spot is more likely normal physiological condition rather than pathological abnormality. Cheers!!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad

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