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Ask Dr. K

When I started going out with my boyfriend a year ago, I couldn't help but notice a few small lumps around his anal area. He assured me that he had consulted his doctor and they were nothing more than skin tags. During the last six months, we haven't been using condoms and now I have them too. They rarely get itchy and don't cause any pain, so I am assuming they aren't hemorrhoids. Neither of us have any sign of them around our penises. Could you help me out?

Common causes of small bumps around the anus are hemorrhoids, genital warts, infections of hair follicles, herpes, syphilis, and sebaceous cysts. Only a doctor can make a diagnosis upon medical examination. It sounds like you might benefit from a checkup.

Sexually active men who have sex with men should get regularly screened for syphilis; gonorrhea of the throat, penis and rectum; chlamydia of the penis and rectum; genital herpes, and, if at risk, HIV. During an examination a doctor can inspect the back of the throat, anus, penis and scrotum for rashes and other lesions.

To your health,
Dr. K

Last modified on Tuesday, June 03, 2008.
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