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What are Pearly Penile Papules?

Pearly penile papules are small dome-shaped bumps on the glans penis and are considered angiofibromas, which are small and harmless tumors.  They are different and distinct from Fordyce spots on the penis, which tend to be located on the penile shaft and are sebaceous (oil) glands.

Pearly Penile Papule Symptoms

These lesions are usually not symptomatic although some men report that they become more noticeable during an erection, which is due to the enlargement of the glans penis with increased blood flow.

Is It Normal to Have Pearly Penile Papules?

Yes, up to 30% of young adult men may have some form of pearly penile papules.  It is more common in uncircumcised men.

Why Do Pearly Penile Papules Appear?

Changes may occur during the onset of puberty that cause these lesions to appear and grow but the exact reason they occur is unclear.

Can Pearly Penile Papules Be Transmitted?

No.  There is no virus or contagious pathogen associated with these lesions and they therefore cannot spread either on yourself or to others.

Do Pearly Penile Papules Go Away?

Usually, once present pearly penile papules will not go away without treatment.

How Are Pearly Penile Papules Diagnosed?

It is important to make sure that any lesion of concern on one’s skin be diagnosed by a medical professional and the experts of the skin are board-certified dermatologists.  Even though something may look similar online to a photo of pearly penile papules, there are other possibilities and seeking medical attention is the best way to confirm the diagnosis.

How Do You Treat Pearly Penile Papules?

We use safe and effective dermatologic techniques to comfortably destroy each individual lesion.  Once the lesions are completely treated they do not recur.  We do not recommend self treatment or the use of over the counter non-FDA approved creams that are marketed for treating pearly penile papules.  Since these lesions are growths, similar to the way a mole is a growth, it is unlikely any topical non-prescription cream will result in meaningful improvement.

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