Should I worry about pearly penile papules?

By: Medically reviewed by Suzanne Falck, M.D., FACP — Written by Aaron Kandola
Source: Medical News Today

Pearly penile papules are small pink-white growths that develop around the head of the penis. Any male can develop pearly penile papules, but they are not considered harmful.

This article will discuss what pearly penile papules are, how to identify them, and whether they can be removed or prevented.
What are pearly penile papules?
Any male can develop pearly penile papules, which resemble small pimples and develop around the head of the penis.

The medical term used to describe pearly penile papules is Hirsutoid papillomas. They typically develop around the head of the penis.

Their size and color can vary across individuals. They typically appear pink-white and measure between 1 to 4 millimeters in diameter, resembling small pimples.

Pearly penile papules often cluster in rings or rows, commonly around the circumference of the base of the penis’ head. The technical name for this area is the corona of the glans penis.

Pearly penile papules are often mistaken for symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection, such as genital warts. However, genital warts are typically larger, are shaped more like cauliflowers, and can develop in areas other than the penis, such as the scrotum or anus.

Pearly penile papules do not cause any other symptoms to develop with them.

Once a man has developed pearly penile papules, they typically remain for life. The growths can fade with age, but they do not tend to change shape, color, or spread further over time.

Given the similarity in their appearance to some other conditions, such as genital warts, any men that experience other symptoms alongside the growths should seek medical attention.

Other conditions that resemble pearly penile papules include:

genital warts
Fordyce spots
molluscum contagiousum

For example, growths that begin to itch or cause any discomfort may indicate the presence of an underlying condition that a doctor should examine.24

Doctors do not know what causes pearly penile papules. They are considered a normal occurrence, and between 8 and 43 percent of men have them.

They are not a sexually transmitted infection. Unlike sexually transmitted infections, they are not caused by infection or disease and are not contagious. They are also not considered harmful.

Although the cause of pearly penile papules is unknown, they appear to be more common in black men and those who have not been circumcised.




Urinary tract infections and incontinence: What to know

By: Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — Written by Jenna Fletcher
Source: Medical News Today

A urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause a variety of symptoms, including temporary urinary incontinence.

UTIs are very common. According to the Urology Care Foundation, around 60% of females and 12% of males experience at least one UTI in their lifetimes.

A UTI can develop when bacteria enter the urethra and travel up the urinary tract to the bladder. Sometimes, the bacteria infect more distant parts of the tract, such as the kidneys.23

This article describes how UTIs can cause urinary incontinence, as well as other symptoms of these infections and the treatments. We also look into alternate causes of urinary incontinence.
Why do UTIs cause incontinence?
Temporary urinary incontinence can be a symptom of a UTI.

A UTI is a bacterial infection somewhere in the urinary tract. The tract consists of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.

The kidneys produce urine to help carry waste out of the body. The urine travels from the kidneys to the bladder via tubes called the ureters. Once the bladder is full, it signals to the brain that the person needs to urinate.

During urination, the bladder releases the urine through a tube called the urethra. The urine leaves the body through the urethral opening.

Sometimes, bacteria get into the urethral opening, then travel up into the bladder. This infection, a UTI, causes the bladder to become swollen and irritated. As a result, urine can leak out.
Other causes of urinary incontinence

A number of factors can cause a person to experience urinary incontinence, besides a UTI. The most common causes are:
Stress urinary incontinence

This occurs when sudden pressure on the bladder causes it to leak urine.

Stress urinary incontinence usually develops when the muscles that would ordinarily prevent urine leakage — including the pelvic floor muscles and the urethral sphincter — become damaged or weakened.

People with this type of incontinence may experience leakage during physical activity or when coughing or sneezing, for example.
Overactive bladder

The term overactive bladder refers to a group of urinary symptoms. The most common of these symptoms is a sudden or frequent urge to urinate.

According to the Urology Care Foundation, overactive bladder affects around 40% of females and 30% of males in the United States.

Males tend to develop the condition later in life, due to prostate problems. Females tend to develop it following menopause.
Overflow incontinence

Overflow incontinence occurs when the bladder fills up but is unable to release urine. This condition is common among males who have enlarged prostates or other health issues.

Overflow incontinence can cause the body to release small, infrequent amounts of urine or a continual drip of urine.
Mixed incontinence

A person may have a combination of overactive bladder and stress urinary incontinence.

This can lead to sudden, frequent urges to urinate, in addition to leakage during physical activity, coughing, or sneezing.
Other UTI symptoms

The most common symptom of a UTI is pain or discomfort when urinating.

A UTI can also cause the following symptoms:

a strong urge to urinate but very little output
urine with an unpleasant odor
cloudy urine
blood in the urine
pressure or cramping sensations in the groin
a fever, in young children

If a person does not receive treatment, a UTI can lead to a kidney infection. Some symptoms of a kidney infection include:

a fever
lower back pain
pain on one side of the back

Kidney infections are serious and require prompt treatment. If a person suspects that they have a kidney infection, they should see a doctor right away.

Is it normal to have a veiny penis?

By: Medically reviewed by J. Keith Fisher, M.D. — Written by Jamie Eske
Source: Medical News Today

In most cases, seeing veins beneath the skin of the penis is perfectly normal and does not require medical attention.

Several factors influence vein visibility, including:

frequency and intensity of physical activity
cardiovascular health
underlying medical conditions

In this article, we discuss why the veins in the penis might appear prominent and what this means.

We also review potential underlying medical conditions that contribute to penis vein visibility and when to see a doctor.
Why does it happen?
The appereance of veins in the penis may vary with age.

There are several veins and arteries that carry blood to and from the spongy erectile tissue in the penis.

Veins may look larger than usual during and immediately following an erection. Although the appearance of prominent veins may cause alarm, they indicate healthy blood flow.

Genetics and age can influence skin thickness, which may make veins appear more prominent or bigger than usual.

Also, blood clots and other conditions that affect the cardiovascular system can trap blood in the veins, which may affect how these blood vessels look.
Do prominent veins affect erection or ejaculation?20

Typically, prominent veins do not affect erectile function.

Conditions that affect blood flow, such as blood clots and atherosclerosis, can have a minor impact on erectile function.

Research suggests a close relationship between cardiovascular health and erectile function.

In a 2015 study, for example, researchers conclude that erectile dysfunction could be an early sign of cardiovascular disease.

Also, in an earlier study by the Heart Institute, the authors state that erectile dysfunction may precede heart attacks by 3–5 years.
Possible causes

Vein size and visibility may vary over a person’s lifetime. They can also change as a result of sexual activity, or due to an underlying health condition.

Some possible causes of prominent veins in the penis include:
The veins in the penis may appear larger during an erection.

Why does the penis change color?

By: Medically reviewed by Daniel Murrell, M.D. — Written by Jenna Fletcher
Source: Medical News Today

Sometimes a man’s penis can turn a purple-red color. Mostly, this color change is benign. The penis may become purple whenever there is increased blood flow to the blood vessels and glands within it. This often happens when a man experiences arousal.

However, when the color change is abnormal, unexplained, or accompanied by pain or itchiness, a man should see his doctor, as a purple coloration may be a sign of infection, injury, or circulation issues.

A urologist is the best doctor to see when it comes to questions about the penis. Men without access to a urologist should seek medical attention from their primary care provider.


Using a lubricant during intercourse and masturbation can reduce friction and the likelihood of penis skin peeling. Choosing loose, cotton clothing to wear around the genital region will also reduce the occurrence of chafing.
An allergic reaction

Contact dermatitis is a skin reaction to an allergen or irritant. It can affect any area of the body, including the penis.22

The symptoms of contact dermatitis include:

peeling or cracked skin
pain and irritation

Common causes of contact dermatitis on the penis include:

latex condoms, in the case of a latex allergy
ingredients in soaps and shower gels
laundry detergents


What causes a tight foreskin?

By: Medically reviewed by Daniel Murrell, M.D. — Written by Jayne Leonard
Source: Medical News Today

A tight foreskin naturally occurs in babies and young children, and it can occasionally persist into adulthood. Although a tight foreskin does not always lead to serious medical complications, it may cause symptoms such as redness, pain, and inflammation.

Symptoms like these can interfere with normal urination and a person’s sex life. Some research shows that 2 percent of men have nonretractable foreskins throughout their lives, despite being otherwise healthy.

Read on to learn more about the classifications of tightness in the foreskin, causes, and treatment options.
Fast facts on tight foreskins:

It is natural to be uncircumcised. However, circumcision removes the possibility of developing a tight foreskin.
In rare cases, conditions that affect the skin around the penis can lead to phimosis. Learn more about phimosis below.
Treatment for a tight foreskin will depend on the underlying cause and severity of symptoms.

What are the types of a tight foreskin?
A tight foreskin may be categorized as phimosis or paraphimosis.

The medical community categorizes a tight foreskin as:


When the foreskin is too tight to be pulled back over the head of the penis, this is termed phimosis.

It is normal for young boys (usually aged 2 to 6 years) to have a foreskin that will not retract. In these instances, there is no need to be concerned about phimosis unless it causes pain, swelling, or difficulty urinating.


In cases of paraphimosis, the foreskin does not pull forward once retracted. The tip of the penis, called the glans, becomes painful and swollen.

Paraphimosis is more serious than phimosis. Emergency medical treatment may be needed to reduce the pain and swelling, and to restore blood flow to the penis.
Causes of phimosis

Phimosis can be either physiologic or pathologic.
Physiologic phimosis

This describes a foreskin that is tight from birth. The condition usually resolves by age 6 or 7.
Pathologic phimosis

Pathologic phimosis is caused by:


Conditions that cause pathologic phimosis include:


Balanitis, or inflammation of the head of the penis, can lead to a tight foreskin, painful urination, and other symptoms. Some people will also have a thick discharge beneath the foreskin.


When both the glans and foreskin are inflamed, it is called balanoposthitis. Several types of infections can cause balanoposthitis, including the yeast infection Candidiasis.

Infections may lead to scarring, which can contribute to the tightness of the foreskin.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)19

Some STIs can cause inflammation of the glans, which may lead to tightness and discomfort. Common STIs that may be responsible for tightness of the foreskin include:

genital herpes

Skin conditions

Some skin conditions that may cause or worsen symptoms include:

Eczema: A common condition that leads to dry and scaly patches on the skin.
Lichen planus: A rash characterized by shiny, flat bumps.
Lichen sclerosus: A condition that causes white patches to form on the foreskin and glans. It can also cause scarring.
Psoriasis: A chronic condition characterized by crusty, dry patches of skin.


Advancing age may lead to the development of phimosis. As skin loses elasticity, it can become stiffer and less pliable.

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