Pearly Penile Papules (PPP)
Pearly penile papules (also known as Hirsuties Coronae Glandis or Hirsutoid Papillomas) are benign, skin colored bumps that ring the edge of the head of the penis. These small protuberances can range in size from 1mm – 3mm. Studies show that 15% to 45% of all men get PPP at some point in their lives, and they occur most often in younger, uncircumcised men. This condition is usually first noticed when the patients are in their twenties or thirties
Although they are not related to a pathological condition and pose no risk to a man’s health, most patients seek medical attention because they or their sexual partners consider them aesthetically displeasing. Sometimes, they are mistaken for HPV warts or other sexually transmitted diseases. However, PPP are not contagious and do not threaten your health. You do not contract them through sexual contact and they are not linked in any way to cancer. PPP are actually quite common, and, aside from occasional sensitivity during sex, cause no harm. The number, size, or area covered by PPP is not affected by diet, exercise, or sexual activity
Those who have PPP long term, or who desire immediate cosmetic improvement, have several treatment options.There are many so called “cures” marketed which many of my patients much money and have initially tried without success. Some of these involve an acid to be placed on the area. This is a potentially dangerous option as it can cause many unwanted effects including scarring, discoloration and possibly permanent damage. According to the medical literature and affirmed by our experience, the safest, most reliable means of eliminating PPP is with a CO2 laser.
After numbing of the area with strong topical cream for about an hour, we use a special CO2 laser which causes ablation of the target tissue. This causes minimal discomfort and the treatment takes about fifteen minutes. Patients may experience some temporary scabbing and swelling but not much pain. All patients are required to take a prescribed regimen of medications to be started prior to the procedure. These are required to protect against infection.We recommend over the counter oral pain medication, but most patients do not need it past the first day. Scabbing and swelling fade quickly and most patients are back to normal within two weeks.