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Ask a Dermatologist Free: Pearly Penile Papules

Dear Doctor

I have lots of tiny bumps on my penis. I’m not sure what it is, Im hoping its not an STD and something I can get rid of quickly. I need your help! thank you!

ask a dermatologist free

Dear Patient

Your pictures are suggestive of a condition known as Pearly Penile Papules (PPP).

PPP is not a STI (sexually transmitted infection)  though the cause is not known.


PPP usually develop around the corona or sulcus of the glans penis (head of the penis).

However, ectopic PPP have been documented to develop on the shaft of the penis. (O’Neil C, Hansen R. Pearly Penile Papules on the Shaft. Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(4):491-492. Available at Accessed on March 9, 2014.)


The treatment of PPP includes ablation with the CO2 laser which gives the best cosmetic result.

They can also be removed surgically or by using electrodessication with curettage though there may be scarring.


PPP are not malignant and they do not become cancerous. They only cause cosmetic problems and thus they do not have to be removed.


 To learn more read the Pearly Penile Papules Handbook

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