What is Exactly Pearly Penile Papules?

What is Exactly Pearly Penile Papules?

Medical term for pearly penile papules is Hirsuties papillaris genitalis; it is the situation in which small skin colored bumps develop in one or more rows on male reproductive organ. These often appear around sulcus or corona. These are harmless in nature, but could be a cause of discomfort, especially during sex. Reportedly, pearly penile papules are present in 8 to 43% men, mostly uncircumcised. Men between the ages of 20 to 30 are mostly affected by this problem. It must be kept in mind that it is not symptom of any sexually transmitted disease (STD), but people consider it as STD due to its being related to sexual organ and even these are sometimes confused with genital warts; in fact, pearly penile papules are not genital warts at all. They may disappear with the passage of time or circumcision, but sometimes it also happens that they vanish with time but reappear.

Causes of Pearly Penile Papules

Generally speaking, there is no confirmed reason for the development of pearly penile papules, but one thing is sure that it is present mostly in uncircumcised men. There is no way that pearly penile papules relate to sexually transmitted disease or unhygienic behavior. These are not infectious, contagious, malignant or pre-malignant. One related concept regarding development of these bodies is that there are grease glands known as sebaceous glands present in skin of human body. These glands sometimes get enlarged, especially on the shaft of penis. It happens that these enlarged glands get blocked and appear as lump and a cream-like substance called sebaceous cyst fills these lumps as a result of which lump becomes white. The small spots that appear around the rim at the end of penis are actually pearly penile papules.


There are no particular symptoms of pearly penile papules and their presence is ensured after their appearance. No irritation, burning, or itching is associated with this disease; therefore, it can not be easily detected before showing up itself. But once these papules develop, patients are often anxious about their nature.


This abnormality of tissues is generally diagnosed by their appearance, and expert physician must be consulted as these could be wrongly taken up as warts. Expert physician can easily recognize and tell these bodies from other kinds which may develop on male genital organ because of their typical appearance under dermatoscope.

There is also a possibility that one has pearly penile papules or appearance of these bodies is due to blocking of grease glands as there are many kinds of harmless lumps which can appear on penis. Therefore, it is recommended to get the problem diagnosed by a professional.


As already described that these are physically harmless and do not affect man’s health, these can still possess adverse impacts. People suffering from this problem can be taken up as patient of sexually transmitted disease and their sex partners start hesitating to have intercourse, thus, their normal life routine gets disturbed. Secondly, appearance does matter and from cosmetic point of view, they do not seem acceptable to the partner. Under these circumstances, chances are very bright that individual may suffer from self-embarrassment and mental stress. Penis is a very sensitive thing to discuss with others and the patient has to make his mind to discuss the situation at least with the doctor.


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