Are Pearly Papules Contagious?

Last updated: 2022-10-17

Pearly penile papules (PPP) are tiny, “pearly-looking” bumps that grow near or around the corona of the glans penis or below the penis head. Usually, they grow in rows and can appear in white, yellow, pink, or transparent colors. These tiny dots are normal and completely harmless as long as they’re not accompanied by other symptoms.

According to research, around 14% to 48% of males worldwide have pearly penile papules and may experience them in their lives. These bumps usually grow during your adolescent years up to full adulthood. Eventually, they’ll disappear as you get older.

But despite being a normal occurrence, PPP is often mistaken to be a skin disease. Moreover, if the patient is unaware, they would assume it’s a symptom of sexually transmitted infections and highly contagious. Fortunately, this article will break the stigma surrounding pearly penile papules and discuss its possible causes and treatment options.

Pearly Penile Papules diagnosis

What causes pearly penile papules?

Some men have probably spent some time searching for “pearly penile papules reason.” But, even today, researchers still haven’t found a solid reason or knowledge as to the primary causes of the appearance of pearly penile papules.

However, there may be several factors that can make a man more prone to PPP, such as:

  • Hemangioma (overgrowth of blood vessels)
  • Increased collagen production
  • Overgrowth of fibroblasts

Furthermore, as stated by a resource, uncircumcised men are believed to be more prone to have pearly penile papules.

Are pearly penile papules contagious?

Perhaps the biggest question for most men—and women—about pearly penile papules is whether they’re contagious or not. To set everything straight, pearly penile papules are not contagious. If you have them, there’s no way you can spread or infect them to anyone else since PPPs are benign growth. For the same reason, you cannot get PPPs from other men who have them.

And since pearly penile papules are harmless and not contagious, they won’t show symptoms other than the tiny bumps. You also won’t need to go through treatments and medications to get rid of them. But some men may choose to have them removed for cosmetic purposes.

How to know whether those bumps are contagious or not?

Now that you know PPPs are non-contagious, you may wonder how to differentiate PPPs from genital warts. Unlike pearly papules, genital warts are contagious and caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. Thus, to know whether those bumps in your penis are contagious, you must know the difference between PPP and genital warts to identify which is which.

In terms of appearance, PPP is small, skin-colored bumps that grow in rows and uniform sizes. As mentioned earlier, they may appear in yellow, pink, white, or transparent colors. On the other hand, genital warts are small, cauliflower-shaped growths with irregular shapes. They often grow in clusters and usually have rough textures.

PPP only grows on the corona or the penis head, whereas genital warts can grow and spread anywhere, including the penis, anus, scrotum, and thighs. Moreover, PPP has no known cause, while genital warts are sexually transmitted infections (STI), hence, can be acquired through unprotected sexual intercourse.

If you’re still unsure how to identify or differentiate the bumps in your penis, you can consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

How to get rid of pearly penile papules?

Although there’s no treatment necessary for your PPPs, some men may opt to get rid of them. The white penile papules have caused some men distress and anxiety due to the misconception surrounding PPPs. Thankfully, there are several ways you can properly get rid of your pearly penile papules without putting yourself at risk of permanent scarring or infection.

Some of the best methods to remove pearly penile papules are:

  • PPP kit home treatment

    A PPP kit can be used at home and is considered the cheapest option. In this method, you’ll need to use a PPP electrical ionizer and an anesthetic cream. The e-ionizer will vaporize the bumps to destroy them from underneath.

  • Carbon dioxide laser surgery

    Although this is the most popular and often recommended treatment, it can be quite expensive too. Carbon dioxide laser therapy utilizes infrared rays to remove the papules and smoothen your penis skin. Your doctor may prescribe multiple laser surgery sessions depending on the amount of PPPs you have.

Remember that other pearly penile papules home treatment or remedy and over-the-counter medications are not recommended to treat PPPs. Most importantly, never try to cut or scrape your papules by yourself, as these could result in permanent scarring or infection.


Finding weird or unusual changes in your penis can be alarming, and you’ll probably want to consult a doctor immediately. However, if the noted changes are that of the appearance of PPP, as mentioned above, don’t be alarmed; they’re entirely harmless and non-contagious. And if you wish to get rid of them, consult your doctor to discuss the best treatment for you.

Author: Patrick K.

I earned a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Polytechnique Montreal in 2015. One of my notable achievements during my studies was receiving acclaim for the 'Simplicity of the proposed solution' in a university project. I've always been a 'Do-It-Yourself' type of person, and solving my own pearly penile papules issue was no different. After months of dedicated experimentation with various home remedies for PPP, I developed a safe and effective solution that tackles the problem. The solution has been bundled into the "PPP KIT" and I am happy to share this life changing remedy since 2020!

Reviewed by: Fabiola Garcia

I studied Nursing at the CDI College in Montreal before furthering my education at École Esthétique Avancée, recognized as Quebec's premier private institution for medical aesthetics. I actively contributed to enhancing the safety protocols of the pearly penile papule (PPP) removal procedure by collaborating on the refinement of the 'Aftercare' section within the PPP Kit's step-by-step guide.