Pearly Penile Papules (PPP) – Symptoms & Treatment
What are Pearly Penile Papules?
Pearly penile papules (commonly referred to as “PPP”) are typically benign (non-cancerous) growths found circumferentially in a single or double row around the head of the penis. The shape, size, and color of PPP can vary between individuals, but they are most often round, 1-2 mm in diameter, and pink, flesh-colored, or translucent. All lesions on a single patient tend to be identical. Lesions first appear within the second or third decade of life.
Pearly Penile Papules Removal
Before and after photos from recent Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery patients.
PEARLY PENILE PAPULES BEFORE AND AFTER GALLERY
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Why do some men develop PPP?
There is still no clear answer to why PPP develop. Most dermatologists consider PPP to be a normal variant of male anatomy.
What percentage of men have PPP?
Uncircumcised male patients have a higher incidence of PPP than circumcised males (22% vs. 12%). Additionally, African-American men may have a substantially higher incidence than Caucasian men.
Are PPP contagious or sexually transmitted?
Absolutely not. Patients with PPP cannot spread these lesions to other people or sexual contacts by any means. PPP are very different from genital warts, a sexually transmitted disease caused by the human papilloma virus.
Can PPP be treated?
Absolutely. Two of the most effective permanent treatment options available today are pulsed-dye lasers (to target the blood vessel component of PPP) and ablative carbon dioxide lasers. Both treatments utilize heat produced by laser light to specifically destroy PPP tissue, while leaving surrounding skin and soft tissue intact.
Treatment takes approximately 15 minutes and treated areas heal completely within 1 week. Once the lesions are eliminated, they typically do not reappear.