Pearly Penile Papules (PPP): Causes, Signs, Treatments & Removals

Pearly Penile Papules (PPP) also known as hirsuties coronae glandis and hirsutoid papillomas It is usually grown around the penis’ head, there can form tiny pinkish white papule growths called pearly penile papules. Although any man can get these papules on their penis shaft, they are not dangerous or harmful.

As you continue reading, you will learn about pearly penile papules and how to recognize them when they’re present. Most importantly, you’ll learn if you can prevent yourself from getting them or if you can remove them if they’re already present.

One of the main issues associated with PPP is that it can cause anxiety by being easily confused with other sexually transmitted diseases. The most common of these are genital warts, the second most common STDs after chlamydia.

What are Pearly Penile Papules?

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The scientific name of pearly penile papules is hirsutoid papillomas. They appear on the penis’ head as tiny bumps which usually have the same colour as the skin. Of course, the size of the bumps and their colour may be different for various people. Usually, they’ll be a pinkish white colour and their diameter will be from 1 millimetre to 4 millimetres.

You might even think they’re pimples by looking at them. However, these papules tend to group together in small rows or rings which appear on the head of the penis. The scientific name for the penis’s head is the glans. The circumference around the base of the glans is known as the corona.

When men first notice their pearly penile papules, they’ll usually think they contracted a sexually transmitted disease like genital warts. But true genital warts are much larger, and they resemble cauliflowers. They may also appear in other places on the body besides the penis, like the anus or scrotum.

Between 8% and 43% of men will get pearly penile papules at some point in their lifetime. They’ll typically show up on them after they’ve reached puberty, especially on men who were never circumcised. But they can still appear on a man who was circumcised too.

Pearly Penile Papules Symptoms

Pearly penile papules around the head of the penis

Image via: MensHealthMag

If a man has pearly penile papules, there won’t be any additional symptoms that will follow. However, the man will retain these papules for the rest of their life.

As men get older, their papules may fade a little bit, but they will still retain the same colour and shape. The papules could even spread even more as time goes on.

Since pearly penile papules look just like genital warts and other conditions, anyone who has these growths should go to their doctor if they’re having additional symptoms besides the papules.

Pearly penile papules and various other conditions have similar visual features to them. These features include:

  • Small Bumps
  • Smoothness
  • The diameter is between 1 mm to 4 mm
  • At the base of the penis’ head, there are 1 to 2 rows of these bumps.

One condition which is similar is called Fordyce spots. Like the pearly penile papules, these particular papules are also not harmful. The only difference is the Fordyce spots don’t form in rows at the base of the penis’ head. Instead, you may see between 1 and 100 bumps scattered around this area.

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What Causes Pearly Penile Papules?

When men get pearly penile papules, they usually think it’s because of bad hygiene or that it’s a sexually transmitted disease. However, this condition apparently doesn’t come from some outside cause, like an infection. In fact, there is nothing malignant about these papules whatsoever.

If were you to ask a doctor about why these pearly penile papules form, they wouldn’t be able to tell you the cause. They do know that it is not an infection from having sex because these papules are not the result of any disease or infection. Plus, you can’t spread the papules to other people by touching them, unlike infections which are contagious. Anyone who has the papules will not be in danger because the condition does not harm them.

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According to the American Urological Association, papules could just be excess leftovers which emerged while the man was still an embryo in his mother’s womb. These papules are usually seen in uncircumcised men and black men.

Treatments & Removal Procedures

Pearly penile papules do not need to be treated after they’re diagnosed. A doctor will simply look at the appearance of the papules to make their diagnosis of the condition. They should be able to separate pearl penile papules from similar looking skin problems, like viral warts. On the off chance that the doctor thinks the papules are threatening to you, they may perform a biopsy to make sure that their diagnosis is accurate.

If you have hirsutoid papillomas, you won’t be required to get medical attention for it. Although, you can take certain treatments to help diminish some of the symptoms. This is usually what men want to do if they’re experiencing stress or low self-esteem over their symptoms. Some of the treatment options include:

Carbon Dioxide Laser Surgery 

It involves using lasers of carbon dioxide to generate infrared light beams. These beams have the power to crumble the molecular tissues of the papules. Men love this option because it is a safe form of surgery and it is very effective.


This is when the doctor uses a huge amount of radiation for papule tissue ionization. In other words, free radicals are created and become damaging to the cells of the tissue. Radiosurgery is a better alternative to Hyfrecator surgery or excisional surgery because of its accuracy. But it is not more accurate than carbon dioxide laser surgery.


It will freeze the papules through the use of liquid nitrogen. The freezing will eventually cause the papules to break off from the penis.

Excisional Surgery

It involves a lancet or scalpel which the surgeon uses to cut off each individual papule. This is a more dangerous surgery that could possibly damage other tissues and it is also not as accurate. While in the recovery stage, there will be pain that needs to be managed as well.

Electrodesiccation and Curettage

The surgeon uses electricity to make the papules very dry. Afterwards, the surgeon will use various surgical tools to scoop out or scrape off the remaining tissues of the papules. The doctor will need to give the patient an anesthetic because the surgery can be painful for them. They could even end up with a permanent scar on it too. The patient will experience pain during the recovery period, but it can be managed.

There are always going to be risks involved with performing surgical procedures. On the flip side, there can be some great benefits as well. Make sure you understand all of the risks and benefits of the surgery before actually getting it done on you. This includes understanding what the recovery process is like too.

How Can I Prevent Pearly Penile Papules?

Pearly penile papules cannot be prevented. The lifestyle you live does not influence whether or not you get these papules. Men who never got circumcised are more likely to get this condition. However, circumcision does not guarantee that you won’t get them either.

Pearly Penile Papules Removal & Home Remedies

To cure yourself of pearly penile papules, natural treatments are the best way to go. Natural treatments are cheaper, safer, and even more effective than most surgical options available. You should always try these natural treatment removals before ever agreeing to surgery.

Alpha Hydroxyl Acid

A small amount of this concentrated cream can be spread over the area where the papules are present. Make sure you only spread the cream onto the affected area and not outside of it. Apply the cream a minimum of 2 to 3 times per day.

After just a couple of days, the papule bumps should break off on their own. This is one of the safest treatments for pearly penile papules.

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Castor Oil

Dip a clean cotton swab into some castor oil and then use the swab to spread the oil over the papules at least 3 to 4 times per day. Keep the affected area uncovered throughout the day as you continue to apply the cream. Keep doing this process until the papules are gone.

Castor oil is completely safe to use on the affected skin and it will work to permanently remove those nasty papules. Just make sure you use a top-quality castor oil product that was made by a reputable manufacturer.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How come certain men get pearly penile papules?

Doctors and medical professionals do not know why certain men get this condition. Men do not get harmed by the papules, so they’re often considered to be just another skin variation that is normal.

Also, all men are susceptible to getting these papules no matter which geographical area they live in or what their race is. Their sexual orientation does not matter either. However, there are some studies which suggest that men who have not been circumcised have a greater chance of getting this condition than men who were circumcised.

Are pearly penile papules a contagious condition?

This is not a contagious condition. If you have bodily contact with another person, pearly penile papules cannot be transferred over to them. You also can’t transmit them sexually either.

Are pearly penile papules the same as genital warts?

No, they are not the same thing. Human papillomavirus is responsible for causing genital warts. This is an infection that gets sexually transmitted. You will recognize genital warts as tiny growths that are shaped like cauliflower.

Men infected with this condition will get these growths around their anus or on their anus. They could also get them on their scrotum, thighs, groin, throat, tongue, penis, mouth, and lips. Worst of all, genital warts are contagious while pearly penile papules are not.

If I believe that I have developed pearly penile papules, what should I do next?

Anytime you notice unusual bumps or lumps on your genital area, it is always a good idea to see your primary care physician as soon as possible. You could also go see a dermatologist who specializes in skin disorders.

What treatments are available for pearly penile papules?

Doctors will usually tell you not to do anything to treat pearly penile papules since they’re not harmful to your health. Try to avoid the temptation of picking or popping the papules. More importantly, never use a store-bought wart remover on any part of your penis to get rid of these papules. Otherwise, you could make the skin on your penis a lot more irritated and could possibly even scar it. Wart removers were never meant to be used on penis skin anyway. You may come across certain specialists who will recommend laser therapy, but this would not be covered by health insurance.

Will my pearly penile papules ever clear up?

A lot of guys live with their condition for a long time. In certain cases, the bumps may reduce in size after enough time has gone by. But you should always get these bumps checked out by a doctor as soon as you notice them for the first time. For all you know, these bumps might not be pearly penile papules, but rather something more serious. If you want to permanently get rid of the papules, laser therapy will likely be the best way to go.

Do I need to worry about these pearly penile papules?

There is nothing to worry about. These skin growths are completely harmless. As you learn more about them, you will realize this.

Pearly Penile Papules Pictures

  • Pearly penile papules around the head of the penis
  • pearly penile papules picture 1

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Jeff Parker is the founder of, an information site for today’s modern men on sexual health improvement and other men’s stuff. I believe in empowering men with the knowledge to make them smarter, healthier choices in their lives.

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