Pearly penile papules (PPPs) are a harmless feature of many penises. While these benign bumps are nothing to worry about in terms of health, some men don’t like the way the bumps look. There are options for having pearly penile papules removed, and science says they’ll never return.
What to do if you are worried about pearly penile papules
ENRICH Clinic in Melbourne has a high-tech solution to your pearly papules: gentle laser removal. Our PPP-removal expert, Dr Michael Rich, has performed this procedure hundreds of times. You can rest assured you’re in the best hands.
PPPs can cause anxiety and confidence issues needlessly, so if you’re concerned about yours, call us. You can be PPP-free in no time.
Are PPPs a disease?
You can rest assured these tiny little pearls are not contagious or malignant, and there is nothing wrong with your penis. Researchers believe these growths are a remnant from human bodies past, a leftover from previous evolutions. PPPs are benign, harmless, and in the medical community are considered regular skin.
PPPs are a normal variant of human penis skin, and you cannot cause them any more than you can generate your nose or ear shape.
Am I normal?
These tiny skin-coloured bumps surround the edge of the head of the penis – the glans penis or corona (crown). The papules appear like a miniature string of pearls or beads, lined up next to each other in an orderly ring.
Up to 43 per cent of men can have pearly penile papules. The little bumps can develop over a lifetime but tend to become less evident with age. Uncircumcised men develop PPPs more often than circumcised men.
Do these penis bumps cause symptoms?
There are no known symptoms associated with PPPs. The only negative outcome occurs if a man is anxious about the presence of the pearly papules, and that affects his day-to-day wellbeing. If this is the case, we recommend making an appointment to see Dr Rich, as the treatment is straightforward, low-risk and we ensure your comfort throughout. Recovery tends to be quick and comfortable.
I’m worried the pearly penile papules might be something else – how can I tell?
There are a few clues that can help determine if you have PPPs or something else. Here’s a cheat sheet so you can do a bit of investigating yourself. As always, if you’re not sure or need a second opinion, see your doctor.
|Sign||Pearly Penile Papules||Genital Warts||Molluscum Contagion|
|Arrangement||Orderly rows (1-2) around the penis||Random placement||Random placement|
|Cause||Normal anatomy||Contagious virus||Contagious virus|
|Location||The rim of the head of the penis only||Anywhere on genitals including the anal area||Anywhere on body|
|Colour||Pearly white, pink or yellow||Flesh coloured, pearly||Red|
|Appearance||Tidy, orderly, consistent shape and size||Cauliflower, flat, raised, skin tag, clusters||Blisters, skin tags|
|Measurements||1-2mm wide, 1-4mm long||1-2mm diameter but varies||1-5mm in diameter, dimpled centre|
Treatment and recovery for pearly penile papules
At ENRICH, Dr Rich uses a laser to precisely and carefully vaporise the papules. Healing takes about a week and tends to be unremarkable and well-tolerated. Our clinic provides all follow-up care routines, so you’re never left wondering how to look after yourself to ensure best results.
Does laser removal of PPPs leave a scar?
No, the removal procedure does not leave scars because it doesn’t really break the skin. The laser targets just the cells of the papules, vaporising them, which will leave a small scab as it heals.
Part of what makes lasers so useful is this ability to remove layers of cells without damaging the skin cells underneath.
Does the treatment hurt?
The treatment is very comfortable and reasonably quick, with a topical anaesthetic applied so you won’t feel much, and you will not feel any pain. You can go back to your normal daily activities afterwards.
You can rest assured that our top priority is your comfort. We realise having a laser aimed at your penis can seem daunting! You may be rightly worried about possible risks, which we’ll discuss with you clearly before any treatment occurs, so you’re comfortable with the procedure. We have an excellent track record, and Dr Rich is an expert in his field.
The treatment is very well-tolerated by patients, with any tenderness post-treatment managed quickly with over the counter pain medication. Most patients report healing is swift and incident-free. Luckily, the tissue in our intimate areas is some of the fastest healing on the human body.
Getting more information on the treatment
We welcome a phone call or email to discuss the treatment in more detail and have plenty of resources on our website. You can also check out some science on the latest in pearly penile papule diagnosis and management in this journal article.
The best course of action is to contact us for a consultation where Dr Rich can assess you in person and walk you through the treatment. If you decide to go ahead, the treatment is relatively quick, and you can expect to be out of the clinic in good time, on your road to a papule-free penis.
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