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