What Is The Best Treatment And Management Option For Pearly Penile Papules?
Last updated: 2022-08-29
Just as with any part of the body, men must also pay attention to their penis health. Penis health goes beyond a man’s ability to perform sexually. Rather, your penis plays a vital role in your overall health due to its reproductive, sexual, and urinary functions.
Part of taking care of your penis is cleaning and checking it regularly for any irregularities or unusual appearances such as warts, blisters, or rashes. However, one situation that’s often mistaken as a penis-related disease is the occurrence of pearly penile papules.
What are pearly penile papules?
For starters, pearly penile papules (PPP), also called Hirsutoid Papillomas, is a harmless penis skin condition. They appear as small, skin-colored, dome-shaped papules and are commonly found near or around the penis head. Although they’re normal and unrelated to any sexual activity, many people often mistake them for a penis skin disease that can be transmitted sexually. As a result, men who have PPP often experience insecurity, anxiety, and shyness whenever they engage in sexual activity due to this misconception.
At the same time, women who spot their male partners with PPP may also feel anxious about having a sexual relationship with them for fear that such skin conditions may be contracted. In reality, PPPs are not contagious and definitely not linked to any sexually transmitted diseases.
What are the possible causes?
Due to the fact that PPP is a normal anatomic variation, and not caused by any disease, infection, or lack of hygiene, there aren't much studies that pin point the exact cause. Some men may be prone to PPP as a result of:
- Overgrowth of dilated blood vessels
- Overgrowth of collagen
- Overgrowth of fibroblasts
It is also known that pearly penile papules are more prone on uncircumcised men.
The best treatment and management option
As PPPs are harmless, you can choose to leave them alone. However, if you’re unsure whether you have PPPs or viral warts, you can always consult a doctor to have them properly diagnosed. Once they’ve confirmed that you have PPPs, they may tell you that no medical treatment is necessary as these don’t present any health risk.
However, if your PPPs are causing psychological distress and anxiety to both you and your partner, there are certain treatments that your doctor can recommend to help remove them. Here are some of the best pearly penile papules treatment options:
Treatment at home via a PPP kit is the most affordable option. It includes an anesthetic cream and a PPP electrical ionizer that works by vaporizing the papules and destroying their cores underneath. You also receive a step by step guide and video to make sure you do it correctly.
You can perform this treatment for 10-15 minutes by yourself at home safely and painlessly. If another session is necessary, wait 10 days before the next PPP home treatment. It’s also essential to abstain from any sexual activities during your treatment journey for quicker recovery and better results.
Carbon dioxide laser surgery
Carbon dioxide laser surgery uses infrared rays to help dissolve the papules, remove potential growths, and smoothen your penis skin. This procedure is the most popular and considered safe and effective with no side effects or complications. Depending on the number of PPPs you have on your penis, doctors may schedule multiple sessions for your PPP removal. They may also prescribe and recommend certain medications to help ease the recovery process.
Another treatment procedure for pearly penile papules is electrodesiccation, it is the second most popular, arguably even preferred to the laser surgery due to it's lower cost. It works by utilizing electrical energy from radiofrequency through electrodes. The electrodes are swiped or scraped across the papules to attack and destroy the proteins and cell membranes of your PPPs, eventually removing them. The entire procedure generally lasts 15 to 25 minutes, and the healing may take 1 to 3 weeks after the treatment.
Cryosurgery utilizes cold temperatures to freeze and destroy your PPPs. Although this treatment is commonly used for removing harmful tumors, your doctor may also recommend this option for removing benign growths, like pearly penile papules. Each treatment uses two courses of liquid nitrogen spray gun, which freezes your papules for 15 to 20 seconds. Your treatment sessions may be one to two months apart, if a second session is required.
For this option, a surgeon will have to remove your papules individually using traditional surgical tools (e.g., scalpel). Although effective, this procedure will more likely leave scars on your penis skin compared with the aforementioned treatment options.
These treatment and management options are safe and effective. However, take your time to fully understand each treatment option’s implications, benefits, and risks. Overall, the best treatment option for pearly penile papules depends on your doctor’s diagnosis and which approach is the most comfortable for you. Just remember not to resort to over-the-counter remedies or home treatments without first consulting a healthcare professional.