By Gary M. White, MD

penile melanosis

Penile melanosis (PM) is the presence of dark, irregularly shaped pigmented macules and patches on the penis.


One or several, dark, irregularly shaped pigmented macules and patches develop on the penis. They are completely flat and may expand over time. The inclusion criteria in one review was a single pigmented patch > 1 cm or multiple coalescent macules that added up to 1. 0 cm or more in size [JAAD 2017;76;836].


A biopsy is necessary to establish the diagnosis and exclude any forms of malignancy (e.g. melanoma). A complete skin exam should be performed should exclude melanoma in any body site. Following these lesions photographically and biopsying any new foci is appropriate. The Q-switched ruby laser has been used successfully [BJD 1994;130;663].

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