Pearly Penile Papules Treatment & Management

Updated: Aug 23, 2018
  • Author: Clarence William Brown, Jr, MD, FAAD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Treatment

Medical Care

Pearly penile papules typically are asymptomatic and require no therapy.

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Surgical Care

Some patients with pearly penile papules may request therapy to alleviate anxiety.

Ablation using carbon dioxide laser, [10, 11, 12] electrodesiccation with curettage, and excisional surgery reportedly have successfully eliminated pearly penile papules. Recent technological advancements in lasers have resulted in promising outcomes using newer fractional ablative approaches, [13, 14] including fractionated carbon dioxide lasers. [15] Successful treatment with pulsed dye laser has been reported, [16] as has treatment with erbium:yttrium-aluminium-garnet (Er:YAG) laser. [17]

Mixed results have been noted with cryotherapy. [18]

Topical application of podophyllin largely has been ineffective for pearly penile papules.

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Consultations

Consultation with a dermatologist may prove useful when the diagnosis is not obvious.

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Diet

Diet is not known to be a factor influencing the development or course of pearly penile papules.

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Activity

Pearly penile papules are not associated with personal hygiene or sexual activity.

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Prevention

Circumcision at birth may decrease the incidence of pearly penile papules, since the frequency of lesions is fewer in circumcised males (12%) versus uncircumcised males (22%).

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Long-Term Monitoring

Most patients accept that treatment is not necessary for pearly penile papules once the benign nature of the lesions is explained. Patients who insist on treatment may elect to undergo ablative therapy with conventional surgical excision or carbon dioxide laser resurfacing.

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