Pearly penile papules are small protuberances that may form on the ridge of the glans of the human penis. They are a harmless anatomical variation.
Most patients with PPP seek consultation because they are concerned about a sexually transmitted disease. PPP is most commonly confused with genital warts or less often, with molluscum contagiosum.
Pearly penile papules may be observed more frequently in uncircumcised men (22%) than in circumcised men (12%).
Upon physical examination, PPP appears as one or several rows of small, flesh-colored, smooth, dome-topped pimple-like projections situated circumferentially around the ridge of the glans penis. Uncommonly, lesions may extend onto the glans penis proper.
In order to visualize the corona and sulcus of the penis in an uncircumcised male, it is often necessary to manually retract the foreskin. Generally, PPP is readily visible in circumcised men in the same anatomical sites.
PPP is not related to STDs or hygiene. It is usually asymptomatic and requires no therapy, Some patients with PPP may request therapy to alleviate anxiety.
Ablation using carbon dioxide laser, electrodesiccation with curettage, excisional surgery and cryotherapy reportedly have successfully eliminated pearly penile papules. Topical podophyllin use isn’t very effective. The only prevention seems to be circumcision.
For further care, refer to a dermatologist.