Pearly Penile Papules (PPP): Diagnosis, Treatment, And Prevention

Once you discover that you or your partner has pearly penile papules, it’s easy to feel like it’s the end of the world—this feeling has its roots in the fact that you have little to no knowledge about it. However, it should not scare you. PPP doesn’t affect sexual function and isn’t contagious like sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If it makes your life stressful, the best thing you can do is consult your healthcare provider about the possible treatment options.

While PPP doesn’t require specific treatment, you can experience peace of mind with options like PPP kits with an ionizer or a laser-like pen to remove PPP. With this walkthrough kit, it’s possible to eliminate papules painlessly and permanently.

However, before you use a PPP kit, it’s vital to understand PPP first and visit the nearest doctor’s clinic to help you learn more about it.

What Are Pearly Penile Papules?

These benign and common lesions often appear on the foreskin during early adulthood or adolescence. Even if PPP is benign, it causes distress to many people due to its resemblance to STDs. However, PPP isn’t associated with STDs, and treatments are often reserved for those who find papules distressing.

How Are They Diagnosed?

Physicians can quickly distinguish PPPs by their appearance. The diagnosis is typically confirmed by looking at the tissues under a dermatoscope, a handheld visual aid device.

If you notice any skin issues or lumps on your penis, getting the proper diagnosis of PPP can give you or your partner peace of mind. Using a dermatoscope, healthcare professionals can tell the difference between PPP from genital warts and molluscum contagiosum.

The size, symmetry, number, pattern of distribution, and shape of lesions are considered to diagnose PPP. Unlike genital warts, PPP tends to appear on the foreskin only. Genital warts, on the other hand, may affect any part of the penis. In addition, genital warts are primarily caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection.

What Causes PPP?

There’s still no accurate explanation why others get these benign bumps while some men don’t. Luckily, PPP isn’t serious and might be a vestigial remnant, an anatomical structure that serves no vital function like the appendix.

However, there are instances that PPP may also serve another purpose. Like tiny glands known as Fordyce spots, they secrete oils, keeping the foreskin moist.

How To Treat PPP?

As mentioned, PPPs don’t need any particular treatment because they present no health symptoms or risks. It is also why it’s uncommon for healthcare providers to prescribe treatment options. But for men who find papules distressing, there are several treatments they can consider, and these include the following:

  • Electrodesiccation And Curettage (ED&C) – It works by applying electricity to the affected area to burn the tissues.
  • Radiosurgery – It uses radiation to damage the skin cells, causing bumps to fade.
  • Laser Surgery – It utilizes infrared rays, destroying skin cells and causing heat damage. It also eliminates the growth and makes the foreskin smoother.
  • Cryosurgery – It uses extreme temperatures to destroy and freeze the targeted areas. It’s also used for removing malignant tumors but can help remove benign growths, like PPP.

All of these treatment options are considered safe, but patients must understand the implications of every treatment type. It’s because all procedures may carry particular risks, such as scarring, infections, skin color changes, and pain. Always rely on qualified medical practitioners to ensure a safe procedure to avoid serious side effects.

When treating PPP, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, including genital wart creams, must be avoided at all costs. Such activities are inappropriate for PPP and may only cause scarring and skin irritation.

There are also no recommended home treatments for PPP. You must never apply castor oil or toothpaste to these benign lesions, and do not try to cut off or remove them yourself. Doing so may only lead to scarring, bleeding, and infection.

If you want proper management of PPP or to get rid of them effectively, you should always consult your doctor before trying anything. This is especially true if you have other medical conditions.

How To Prevent PPP?

No one can prevent PPP from occurring. Although they’re common among uncircumcised men, no assurance undergoing circumcision can prevent bumps on the foreskin.

Your lifestyle choices do not also cause them. However, practicing safe sex and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential. It’s also best to avoid taking testosterone supplements without your doctor’s advice, as they could increase the risk of PPP’s recurrence.

Wrapping Up

Pearly penile papules are harmless and common bumps on a man’s foreskin. They don’t require any treatment and don’t cause symptoms. However, most men find them distressing and could be mistaken for a sign of STDs. While there’s no way to prevent PPP, there are various treatment options one may consider to remove it completely.