Pearly Penile Papules

When dealing with sensitive areas, it can be a bit concerning when you find something that you may believe is “out of the norm”. Skin lesions that develop, especially in the male genital area can cause a great deal of anxiety and self-consciousness. Men often will visit their doctor concerned about a sexually transmitted disease, but that is not always the case.

Pearly Penile Papules are small bumps, or protuberances, that make their home around the edge of the head of the penis, known as the glans. Also known as Hirsuties Coronae Glandis, these small pearl- colored bumps are a natural anatomical variation and nothing to get too concerned about. “I see a number of men who come to the clinic concerned that they may have contracted HPV, genital warts or another type of infection,” notes Dr. Adam Mamelak, a board-certified Dermatologist in Austin, Texas. Some are concerned about their relationships, and give a sense of betrayal. Many patients don’t realize that these bumps have been there for some time, and have only recently noticed them.

“It’s a guy thing,” says Dr. Mamelak. “They Google and check online medical sites searching for this could be.” Needless to say, many patients equate their skin lesions with STD’s that that have similar symptoms, and become very concerned. These growth show no evidence of HPV or an other type of infectious agent. In fact, under the microscope, these lesions resemble a benign growth known as an angiofibroma – basically, a proliferation of blood vessels, collagen fibers and connective tissue.

“Alleviating these patients concerns, telling them that this is normal and does not represent any infection or disease, gives a lot of comfort.” In fact, these bumps can be found in significant number of men, making it quite the common occurrence.

As these bumps are harmless, they tend to not need any sort of treatment or removal. However, if they ever cause irritation or pain, or for cosmetic reasons, they can removed by laser or electrosurgery. It is not suggested that a patient try to remove these on their own, as it could result in physically damaging the genitals.

Your dermatologist can help confirm the diagnosis if you notice changes or other concerning physical changes in the genital area. Your doctor can also advise on treatment options for different skin conditions and diseases. Untreated STDs and skin conditions have the potential to lead to serious consequences. These can be avoided with a quick check-up with your doctor.

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At Sanova Dermatology we strive to offer the most up-to-date information and to help our patients feel safe and treat all of their skin care needs. If you have questions about your skin, please contact us today.

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