Pearly Penile Papules

Learn more about Pearly Penile Papules (PPP) treatment in Las Vegas at Strimling Dermatology, Laser & Vein Institute.

Pearly Penile Papules

Worried about tiny, small bumps on the head (glans) of your penis, you could have pearly penile papules (PPP), a variant of normal. Or you could have genital warts or molluscum contagiosum, both are contagious viruses that should be treated.

Our dermatologists at Strimling Dermatology, Laser & Vein Institute are experts at diagnosis and treatment of all of these conditions.

What are Pearly Penile Papules & what do they look like?

PPP are tiny to small, bening (non-cancerous) skin growths that are located circumferentially around the head (glans) of the penis. PPP can vary in color from skin-colored, pink, white, yellow or (rarely) translucent, but are most typically skin-colored. Penile pearly papules range in size from 1-4 mm. Although shape, size and color may vary between individuals, all lesions tend to be the same in any particular affected person. Pearly penile papules are considered a normal variant and harbor no malignant potential, but can be removed if desired.

Why do some guys have Pearly Penile Papules?

We do not know why some guys get or have PPP, as its cause is unknown. PPP does not distinguish by race, location or sexual preference. There may be a slightly increased risk of PPP in uncircumscribed males.

Are Penile Pearly Papules Contagious?

PPP is not a sexually transmitted disease and is therefore not contagious.

Are Pearly Penile Papules a form of genital warts?

No, penile pearly papules are not genital warts. Genital warts are caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted disease and is contagious. HPV are small, flat to dome-shaped to cauliflower shaped growths that can develop on or around the genitals (penis & scrotum, vulva), anus, groin, thighs, lips, mouth, tongue and / or throat. Some HPV types are pre-cancerous.

If you have any lumps or bumps in your genital area and/or you are concerned that you may have PPP or HPV or Moluscum Contagiosum (another viral condition), then you should make an appointment with us to establish an accurate diagnosis. Diagnosis is usually by visual exam only (by an experienced dermatologist).

What is the treatment for Pearly Penile Papules?

Usually, no treatment is needed, but if desired they can be removed. PPP cannot be removed by home remedies or OTC “wart removers”. OTC “wart removers” are not intended for more sensitive genital skin. Laser &/or electrosurgical ablation is our preferred method of removal. In office, a topical anesthetic is applied to the areas to be treated; then, the PPP lesions are ablated (removed) painlessly by above methods. One or more treatment sessions may be required. New PPP lesions may or may not slowly return after several or more years and require periodic touch-up treatments, but usually not. Insurance does not cover the treatment of asymptomatic PPP lesions.

In summary, pearly penile papules are harmless skin growths that are nothing to worry about or be concerned with, but can be removed for cosmetic purposes, if so desired. However, it is also important to differentiate PPP from genital warts, which should be treated.

At Strimling Dermatology, Laser & Vein Institute of Summerlin, Las Vegas, our board certified Dermatologists, Dr. Strimling and Dr. Handler specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of genital lesions, including PPP and HPV. Our dermatologists and staff are among the most experienced in Las Vegas. Voted or selected among the “Best Dermatologists” in Las Vegas and America multiple times, Dr. Strimling has also been selected an “Award Winning Cosmetic Surgeon”.

Contact Us at (702) 243-6400 to schedule a personalized consultation.

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Strimling Dermatology, Laser & Vein Institute of Summerlin, Las Vegas treats patients from all over the Clark County valley, including Henderson, Green Valley, Anthem, North Las Vegas, Boulder City as well as Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada and the rest of the southwest. We have also seen patients from all over the country and world.

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