Pearly Penile Papules
Pearly Penile Papules, often abbreviated to PPP, are found around the head of the penis. Sometimes the foreskin needs to be pulled back in order to see them. The papules are small, smooth spots that are white or skin-coloured and 1mm-3mm across. They will often appear in small rows a bit like a string of pearls, hence the name. The good news is that penile papules are absolutely nothing to worry about as they pose no health risks and will not cause any pain or irritation. In fact, they are very common, with an estimated 20% of the male population developing them. There is no known cause of PPP.
Although they are not infectious and aren’t related in any way to sexual activity and personal hygiene, the papules can still be worrying for those who don’t know what they are and who may mistake them as an STI. Men with PPP should not pick them or attempt to squeeze them, as this could lead to scarring and infection. It is possible to have the papules removed for cosmetic reasons, which dermatologists may do by using a CO2 laser to vaporise the spots. This does not involve any injections in the penis as an anaesthetic cream can be used and men will be fully healed within one to two weeks. It is important to remember that despite this being a safe and effective procedure, removal is not obligatory. It is often opted for by people who are finding that the papules are affecting their self-confidence.
While PPP are harmless, it is always advisable to have any lumps or bumps in your genital area checked out by a doctor just in case.
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