Pearly penile papules are a common anatomical variation that causes the growth of small bumps along the ridge of the tip of the penis. It is known by the technical name Hirsuties coronae glandis. The papules range in size from less than 1 mm to as large as 3 mm.
While the bumps are sometimes confused with HPV and other STIs they are not contagious and are not the result of sexual activity. They can be embarrassing or cause discomfort on the part of sexual partners. The papules present no health risk. Watch our video below to see how we remove these papules.
Frequently asked questions about pearly penile papules
What are the symptoms?
Since the papules are a skin variation and not a medical problem they do not cause discomfort. The only symptom is the appearance of the bumps along the circumference of the tip of the penis.
What causes PPP?
Penile papules are not caused by bad hygiene or STIs. Instead they are a genetic variation in men. The papules are more common in uncircumcised men than circumcised men. Some primates have penile spines in a similar location so the papules may be a vestigial trait.
What are the treatment options?
The pearly penile papules can be removed via a simple outpatient procedure called C02 laser treatment. A C02 laser is used to vaporize the papules. This procedure can take as little as a few minutes to perform. The laser removes moisture from the papules and promotes the growth of healthy and youthful skin in their place.
During the procedure the area is cleaned and a topical numbing agent is applied. No injections are involved. The anaesthetic makes it so you will not feel anything during the procedure.
Why treat PPP?
The papules cause no pain and are not dangerous from a health perspective so some men will choose to leave the condition untreated. However, many men find the papules embarrassing. Current or previous partners may have been concerned by the papules or judgmental of them. Treatment removes the unpleasant emotional and social fallout that the papules can cause.
The CO2 treatment is a simple outpatient procedure. As a result, there is minimal risk and time loss associated with it. The costs of the procedure are low compared to the potential emotional benefits and removal of stigma.
Why choose Dr. Crippen at DermMedica for Pearly Penile Papules removal?
Dr. Crippen at DermMedica has been performing this treatment for longer than any other doctor in Alberta or British Columbia. Individuals travel from all over Canada to have this treatment performed by him because of his experience. Dr. Crippen can discuss your concerns and needs at an assessment.
The Derm Medica clinic is designed with the needs of our patients in mind. There is a side door available to maximize privacy and discretion for patients. Very few clinics offer this.
What are the risks?
With any surgery or procedure there are risks involved. Swelling and discomfort are the most common side effects following the procedure but these typically heal within a week. The main risks for CO2 laser treatment of PPP are inflammation, infection, hematoma, scarring, swelling, bruising and numbness. Most problems and discomfort will resolve with time as the treated area heals.
Risks specific to you as an individual will be discussed during your personal consultation. Minor complications that do not change the result of the procedure occur for time to time. Serious complications are rare.
What is the recovery time?
After treatment most men recover fully within two weeks. It is common for there to be redness, swelling, crusting and discomfort in the treated area for between a few day to a week after the procedure. Most patients can return to work right away.
What do I do if I’m interested?
If you are interested in the treatment or have any additional questions contact DermMedica by phone or email.
When you make an appointment for a consultation, Dr. Crippen will be able to discuss the treatment and your specific needs with you. He will examine you and tell you what results you can expect. The consultation is the perfect time to ask any questions you have and to discuss the treatment with Dr. Crippen. You will receive additional information that is important in understanding the treatment and making the best choice for you.
Do you treat Fordyce spots?
PPP is often confused with Fordyce spots. Derm Medica does not treat Fordyce spots.
Before and after photos
Quick Answers About Pearly Penile Papules Treatment
Is it true that PPP sometimes goes away on its own? I have heard that it can go away on it's own. What makes the treatment worth it?
Pearly Penile Papules are a permanent skin condition that develop in about 20% of men. the condition will not improve with time and their are no creams or ointments that will have any effect on it. The only method of removal that works is laser treatment. We perform PPP treatments on a regular basis for men from all over the country.
How long to recover from PPP treatment before intimacy?
We normally recommend to our patients after laser treatment for Pearly Penile Papules to wait about 7-10 days after the procedure. After this time, the patient should be back to normal and able to resume normal sexual activity with no side-effects. After laser treatment, the area will be a bit sensitive and tender because we are removing very small amounts of tissue, but this area is quite vascular and heals rapidly.
Is the Pearly Penile Papules Treatment Safe? What kind of laser will be used if I elect to have the treatment? Is it really safe?
Safety of any treatment really comes down to who is providing the treatment. If you have an experienced laser phsyician performing the procedure then this treatment is very safe without any significant safety issues. The nice thing about a Pearly Penile Papule treatment with a CO2 laser is that the results are permanent, you never have to have another procedure. Dr. Crippen is certified by the American Board of Laser Surgery and has extensive experience removing PPP lesions.
Are creams an effective treatment for PPP?
Unfortunately, there is no cream that is known to be an effective treatment for PPP. Some products claim (often in an unclear way) to be effective at treating these spots. However, there is currently no known non-surgical or non-laser treatment that works to remove PPP.
How permanent are the effects?
All papules removed by the treatments are gone permanently, and will not redevelop. However, new papules may form after enough time has passed. Make sure any new papules are treated quickly to reduce treatment time and recovery.