Pearly penile papules (PPP), also known medically as hirsutoid papillomas, are smooth, tiny bumps or threads that appear around the base of the glans penis. They typically form one or two rows around the glans. While not painful and known to be harmless, they can cause concern and anxiety for those affected.
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To date, the reason why PPP occurs in men is unknown. Many speculations develop that they arise due to poor hygiene and promiscuous sexual activity. These speculations have been debunked, and experts believe the papules may have been left over from a man’s embryonic development in the womb. Suffice it to say that the growth is purely anatomical.
About 8-43% of men have pearly penile papules and they usually appear after puberty. It has also been noted that most of those who get them are uncircumcised black males.
Doctors have already concluded that the growth is harmless and no treatment is required as most papules will fade over time. However, if you are concerned about your health, it is better to have a doctor examine you, as you may make a wrong assumption about your condition and confuse PPP with genital warts, which can look similar. Unlike PPP, genital warts are contagious and can be transmitted through oral or anal sex.
Pearly penile papules can affect sexual confidence; Even if doctors already said it’s not contagious and generally harmless, you want it to go away. There are several ways to remove PPP and these include:
Since the prevalence of PPP is widespread, and about one in four men has it, specialists have developed a kit that can be used at home. A PPP kit is a home ionizer treatment system that vaporizes the papules.
Not all men are comfortable going to the doctor for treatment of a genital ailment, while some may not have the resources for complicated surgery. This kit will be the answer to your problems if you feel like this.
The kit contains all the materials needed for the at-home treatment – a high-precision ionizer tool, numbing cream, alcohol swabs, step-by-step instructions, and even an instructional video to help you successfully perform it yourself. Such kits are available from legitimate online stores like pppkit.com.
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The traditional invasive way to remove each papule is to make tiny incisions with a scalpel. This method is quite painful and causes scarring. Men with a low pain threshold may want to refrain from this, even if the procedure is covered by a local anesthetic.
An experienced dermatologist must perform this procedure as they have the expertise to do it without stitches. After excision and application of electrosurgical springing, the dermatologist must simultaneously coagulate the tissue while removing the papules from the glans. This leads to a smoother result and restores the original shape of the patient’s penis.
The procedure takes an hour, while recovery can take up to three weeks. It would be best if the patient takes time off work and refrains from heavy lifting while recovering.
Cryotherapy is usually used to destroy harmful growths, but has proven valuable for removing the tiny bumps on the penis caused by PPP. The method uses extreme temperatures to freeze and destroy specific areas.
The therapy uses a liquid nitrogen spray gun that performs a 15-20 second freeze-thaw cycle that bursts and shrinks the papules, preventing them from growing back. The procedure lasts no more than 30 minutes, while recovery takes up to three weeks.
Radiosurgery uses electrodes to heat tissue to temperatures in excess of 50 degrees Celsius or 120 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the proteins and cell membranes of the PSM tissue cells are destroyed.
Just like cryosurgery, this is a relatively quick procedure that takes no more than 30 minutes, while recovery can take up to three weeks. A dermatologist usually performs the procedure on an outpatient basis.
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Fractional CO2 laser
The carbon dioxide laser is the most commonly used laser for removing pearly penile papules. It is also suitable for dark-skinned patients as there is minimal hyperpigmentation. The laser uses a device with a wavelength of 10,600 nm and penetrates deep into the skin. The PPP usually disappears permanently after the third treatment. The treatments are usually carried out at intervals of two months. And faster healing is typically observed after five days of treatment.
Also known as YAG or Yttrium Aluminum Garnet laser treatment, it is a non-aggressive, non-invasive laser treatment that uses a laser in an ablation mode. Efficient removal is observed after three treatments in an outpatient clinical setting.
The Erbium laser has a wavelength of 2,940 nm, has a faster healing process than the CO2 laser and penetrates much less into the skin. This treatment is well tolerated and results in complete resolution of the papules with minimal complications and discomfort. YAG also has the most cosmetically desirable outcome of any PPP treatment available today, although it costs more than the others.
The papules are thermally ablated using an electrode in a monopolar mode. The electrodes send an alternating current that destroys the tissue of the papules. Electrode treatment can be completed with a curettage, in which the tissue is scraped off with a curette. Some electrosurgery procedures work without curettage, so it’s best to ask your doctor what’s best for your condition.
Even if something doesn’t cause physical pain, the emotional suffering and stress that a condition can cause in a person can lead to anxiety, depression, and broken relationships. This should not be dismissed; Instead, a permanent solution should be applied so that one can lead a normal, healthy life.
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All surgical and non-surgical procedures involve risks; You need to consult extensively with a doctor who specializes in such procedures so that you can properly weigh all the options. And since the condition occurs in your sensitive body part, you may want to take extreme precautions as you don’t want to cause irreversible damage that could further compromise your condition.
Also, don’t be tempted to use home remedies. There are no known studies to support it. You may be surfing the web for a quick fix and come across many suggestions including using oatmeal, toothpaste, lemon juice, or even honey. The skin on your penis is different than the skin on your face, and using a product that’s thought to be safe for sensitive skin doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for your private part as well. Remember to be patient, avoid shortcut treatments, and only trust your doctor because they know what is best to do.
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