Pearly Penile Papules | What is it -and do I need to be concerned?
Pearly Penile Papules is also known as hirsuties coronae glandis or, hirsutoid papillomas.
On the Internet, there is no shortage of people peddling information –and much misinformation about Pearly Penile Papules. As with most things, there is always someone trying to put a spin on something if they stand to make some money or increase their ratings, etc.
The skin condition known as Pearly Penile Papules is not immune from the spin. Many information sources play to your insecurities and anxieties and attempt to convince you it needs “curing” as if you were carrying a disease.
In actual fact it doesn’t need curing. It is a skin condition, not a disease, and is totally normal. In this context, by normal we mean not abnormal, as it is quite common.
It is so normal that if your penis is graced with PPP, you are in good company, as millions of other young and middle aged men are graced with it too. By some estimates, as many as 30 % (or more) of the population (in the age bracket) have this condition.
This page was last updated on 4th of September 2014
If that is all you’re worried about, you are fortunate. Many men strut around like a big stud-muffin, with the secret added attraction of HPV (genital) Warts or some other shameful and degrading sexually transmitted disease.
I had it too.
You can expect Penile Papules to diminish as you age. I am in my upper middle age and it’s been gone for a while now. Most people are generally uneasy with Penile Papules, at least at some time in their life –usually, I suspect during the years when searching for a mate. Once properly identified so you’re certain what it is (and not something worse) you can really forget about it.
Me? I called it my built-in French Tickler. It was an adornment. When they were handing out penises, I got the bonus plan.
I am aware that not everyone sees the humor in that. I’ll attempt to give you all the information needed for you to come to terms with it, if you would, or, so you can determine what the next step is for you. Some people choose not to deal with the papules and actively seek methods to rid themselves of the problem.
There really is no need to remove the papules, unless for aesthetic reasons, which is the usual reason stated. Guys don’t like PPP, because it is, or could be perceived to be unsightly. It can cause self-consciousness, problems with self-esteem in some and cause your new girlfriend to wonder about it, aloud, from a safe distance.
If you are hell-bent on getting rid of the adornment, be sure and do it safely -some methods have ‘convalescence periods’ and/or possible side effects. There are some methods of removal that are benign and reliable. Read more about them here:
CLICK: Safe PPP Removal
Let’s get a positive ID, shall we?
Pearly Penile Papules are small, white, pimple-like protrusions, not unlike a ‘skin tag.’ They show up in groups of many, arranged in rows around the circumference of the base of the glans, or corona, of the penis. There are variations as can be seen in this dermatology atlas collection of photos. Click the link for photos. Be forewarned -these are graphic photos, not suitable for all eyes. Photos HERE
PPP are very normal, are not contagious and they are extremely common. They are more likely to be found in uncut (uncircumcised) men. They are totally benign, and cannot be spread by sexual activity.
Although they sometimes cause a lot of confusion, they do not need to be worried about -they are totally fine. If you are concerned it might be a couple of other things, see your family doctor or General Practitioner.
To attempt to get rid of it, using some abrasive or caustic substance, there is a concern that you will more likely damage yourself.
What else could it be?
Fordyce Spots – is another skin condition that causes concern. Fordyce Spots are not easily confused with Penile Papules. Check this reference for more on Fordyce’s Spots.
Genital Warts? Warts are usually more random, appearing on the shaft of penis, on the head, inside and/or on the foreskin. They tend to be much bigger.
PPP is most always in neat rows along the head of the penis. Warts can appear anywhere and resemble little cauliflowers, in a way. Or, they can be slightly smooth and shiny. Very common and treatable -could be the ‘common cold’ of STD.
Alternately referred to as penile warts, Anal warts, Condyloma -it is caused by a virus (HPV) and is contagious. Because it is contagious, there is some measure of psychological baggage that goes with it.
To test: Simply take a facecloth or Q-Tip, dip it in some vinegar and place a little on the suspected wart. If it begins to turn white, there’s a good chance it could be a wart. Your GP can take care of that for you. If there is any doubt, see a doctor. If left untreated, it can develop into a big problem.
Syphilis? Syphilis causes a dark, hard, flat ulcer type area that is usually pain free. Get treatment right away.
Herpes? Herpes usually manifests itself as blisters on the penis that are burning, stinging, achy. It spreads easily, and is easily treated, as well.
Muluscum Contagiosum, benign bumps. It is a viral infection, can be treated but best tactic may be to leave them alone, don’t scratch them and they go away in about six months to 18 mos. depending upon how much you mess with them. It is best to seek guidance from your family doctor or GP.
Pearly Penile Papules: What it isn’t
It is definitely not a disease. It is not sexually transmitted, nor is it transmitted in any other way. It is not transmitted –it wasn’t transmitted to you and you will not transmit it to anyone else.
Am I the Only One?? Who has this besides me?
One study in the UK surveyed 188 college students under the age of 25 and 70 patients over the age of 50. The study was to determine the prevalence and to compare the related information regarding size of the papules and how widely spread they were in each case. The PPP was categorized from one to four according to increasing size and distribution of the papules.
The students’ information gathered was from self examination and the patients information came via clinical examination.
An anonymous questionnaire was issued to help assess how prevalent PPP was in the age brackets. In the under-25 group, the prevalence of PPP was 38%. Among the over-50 group, the prevalence was 11%.
In categories 3 and 4 (presumably the higher numbers in terms of papules and most widespread in area) it was 8.5% in the under-25 group and less than 1.5% in the over-50 age group.
In the under-25 age group, the prevalence of Penile Papules was 26.5% in circumcised men and slightly over 42% in uncircumcised men. The findings were not related to frequency of sexual intercourse, nor to elapsed time since first sexual intercourse.
This study showed that the papules seem to largely disappear with age. Any latent presence in patients over 50 years old are less marked than younger men. The condition is less prevalent in circumcised men.
One advisory that came out of the study was to uncircumcised men. In order to maximize exposure of the coronal area to normal abrasion, men could be advised to wear the foreskin rolled back. The extra abrasion that occurs may shorten the time it takes for the PPP to go away.
To get rid of PPP, be sure and do it safely -some methods have ‘periods of convalescence’ and/or possible long-term side effects. On the flip side, there are some methods of removal that are benign and reliable. Read more about them here:
CLICK: Safe PPP Removal
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