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Ask a Dermatologist Free: Pearly Penile Papules

How to treat 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) or Hirsutoid papillomas.

Pearly Penile Papules Causes

The cause of PPP is not known and it is not a STI (sexually transmitted infection).


Pearly Penile Papules Symptoms

Symptoms of PPP include small, whitish or skin-colored growths which usually develop around the corona or sulcus of the glans penis (head of the penis).

These swelling are often arranged in rings or rows around the base of the penis head. They are not painful or itchy.

Ectopic PPP has been documented with the papules developing 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.)


Pearly Penile Papules Treatment

The treatment of PPP includes ablation with a CO2 laser as this gives the best cosmetic result.

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

Cryotherapy which is freezing them with liquid nitrogen, can also be used to treat pearly penile papules.


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

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Categorised as: Ask a Dermatologist Online | Skin Diseases

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