Pearly papules: what are they and how to treat

Despite being harmless, pearly papules often cause many medical consultations. They only represent an aesthetic problem for some men, for which there are effective treatments.

Last update: 28 January, 2022

pearly papules or hirsuties papillaris genitalis, are small whitish lesions that appear on the penis, around the crown of the glans. Although have no pathological significancethat is, they are not harmful, they can cause discomfort when brushing against them.

these injuries occur when Tyson’s glands enlarge, making them visible. These are structures responsible for producing a lubricating fluid in order to facilitate penetration during sexual intercourse. They are usually invisible.

Pearly papules are characterized by being small, rounded bumps ranging from 1 to 3 millimeters in size, painless, and white, yellow, or cream in color. They can appear in the form of a ring in one or several rows surrounding the crown of the penis and present on the neck of the penis and on the inner layer of the foreskin.

Tyson’s glands

These glands have all men from birth. In some cases, they develop or enlarge between the ages of 20 and 30 or during adolescence, especially if they are uncircumcised men.

They are responsible for producing a kind of whitish mastic with a strong odor called smegma that can accumulate under the foreskin if you are not circumcised and have poor hygiene.

Curiosities of pearly papules

Pearly papules can often be mistaken for lesions from sexually transmitted diseases or other conditions. However, it is something completely benign.

Pearly papules are a fairly common physiological phenomenon. They have a prevalence of between 14 to 48% of men. They usually appear during or after puberty.

This affectation is not sexually transmitted, so they are not contagious nor do they represent a sign of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). They also have nothing to do with hygiene.

Many people confuse them with wartswhich are lesions caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, even though they tend to be grayish and scaly.

Thanks to DNA amplification techniques, it has been shown that both lesions are unrelated. On the other hand, it’s good to know that popping them won’t make them go away. Pearly penile papules are not pimples; if they are pressed hard to burst them, they will cause pain and wounds that can become infected.

Keep in mind that they disappear over time. However, being glands of the structure of the penis, they will always be present, even if they are not seen.

Treatment of pearly papules

If you want to improve the appearance of pearly papules, it is advisable to go to a trusted dermatologist.

Natural remedies to treat pearly papules are not effective. There is no home remedy that can remove them and make them disappear. In fact, these remedies are often painful and often end up causing injuries to the penis that require urgent medical attention.

Since it is not a disease, pearly papules do not require medical treatment. Patients who come to a medical consultation are usually told that they are benign and that they are not pathological signs.

Some people decide to remove them for cosmetic purposes, so they usually go to the dermatologist. Among the most used methods are the following:

  • CO2 laser therapy: is one of the oldest gas lasers. It was developed by Kumar Patel.
  • Radiofrequency: This technique is also known as radio frequency spectrum.
  • cryotherapy: is the use of liquid nitrogen.
  • electrofulguration: is a technique that uses an electric current.

The application of silver nitrate in low and very localized doses is also effective. All these methods can only be carried out by a qualified professional.

In short, pearly papules are not a health problem and can only represent an aesthetic discomfort. For those cases, the mentioned treatments can be effective, although sometimes it is difficult to eliminate them completely.

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