PEARLY PENILE PAPULES
By Gary M. White, MD
Pearly penile papules (PPP) are benign papular growths on the corona. They are periodically misdiagnosed as warts.
- PPP are most commonly found in men between 20 and 40 years of age.
- PPP seem to regress with age.
- Some consider these lesions as vestigial remnants of penile spines, which are found in the same location in other primates and contributes to sexual pleasure and quicker orgasms.
- Vestibular papillomatosis is considered to be female equivalent of PPP.
1-3 rows of tiny, 1mm flesh-colored papules are seen along the corona circumferentially. Uncommonly, lesions may extend onto the glans penis. Lesions on the shaft of the penis are extremely rare. Such ectopic lesions are usually associated with typical coronal lesions, but may be the isolated finding on rare occasions.
No treatment is needed. Any destructive modality may be employed but scarring is a risk. Usually, the patient is merely reassured. The puled dye laser is effective [JAMA Dermatol. 2013 Jun; 149(6):748-50]. Cryotherapy, CD, excision and CO2 laser have been used as well.
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