Men who make penis health an important part of their daily routines know that penis bumps are a common occurrence. Indeed, there is a wide array of bumps and lumps that can be found on or around the penis, including pimples, warts, pearly penile papules and Fordyce spots. Sometimes, there’s another cause of bumps, one related to the lymphatic system. It’s not usually a cause for concern, but knowing about it is part of good penis care.

What is the lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system is one of the components of the circulatory system. The circulatory system, of course, is well known for channeling blood and oxygen around the body. The lymphatic system is a network of tiny vessels that carry a fluid called "lymph" throughout the body. Lymph is not blood; it is a colorless, odorless fluid.

The lymphatic system serves a number of purposes, including (1) helping to reabsorb filtered plasma that has been left behind in parts of the body and (2) helping to defend the immune system and to transport white blood cells.

The vessels in the lymphatic system reach all parts of the body - including the penis. As a matter of fact, the penis has a surprising number of lymph structures, known as nodes.

Aggressive sex

Because the sensitive nerve endings in the penis respond so energetically to friction, men often enjoy rough handling of their penises. Indeed, some of the euphemisms for masturbation, such as beating the meat, choking the chicken and practicing a death grip, bring to mind images of that rough handling.

During partner sex, men often can get carried away in the throes of sexual ecstasy and behave in a manner that "roughs up" the penis. For some men, penetrative sex becomes all about intense, deep, heavy thrusting.

Whether solo or partner-based, rough handling of the manhood can cause some damage to the lymph vessels that crowd the tool. This is especially true if the sex is practiced in too "dry" a manner, with insufficient lubrication.

Lymph bumps

Often the damaged lymph vessels create no issue, other than perhaps adding to the soreness of the penis caused by rough handling. In some cases, however, there can be significant leakage from tears in the nodes.

If fluid leaks out and is not quickly reabsorbed, it can pool in a circumscribed area in the penis and create a swollen bump. The swelling can sometimes be significant, much larger than typical penis bumps, and can be very tender to the touch.

Taking care of it

If a man develops what he believes is a lymph bump, he should consult with a doctor to confirm his self-diagnosis and to determine what he should do to speed up the recovery. Most of the time, a doctor will recommend some combination of the following:

- Take an over-the-counter pain medicine in order to reduce the discomfort.

- Massage the swollen area several times a day. (This helps the fluid to get reabsorbed, which will reduce the swelling.)

- Apply a cold pack (covered in a cloth so there’s no direct skin contact with the penis) after massaging.

It’s also necessary to give the penis a rest until the swelling has disappeared - so no masturbating or partner sex for a while. (In fact, often the area is sensitive and a man won’t feel comfortable having any form of sex until the swelling is gone.)

There will likely be residual tenderness from lymphatic-based penis bumps for a few days, so using a quality penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) is a fine idea. Crèmes that are made to address common penile soreness, such as those with a combination of a high-end emollient (like Shea butter) and a natural hydrator (like vitamin E) are best for dealing with the pain. These moisturizers aid in keeping penile skin flexible and healthy. Crèmes that contain a range of other vitamins, such as A, B5, C and D, also provide the tool with a health boost that can keep it flexible and robust. Maintaining proper penis health enables a man to address common penile issues.