Pearly penile papules: causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

Pearly penile papules are a dermatosis on the penis.


Causes

The etiology is unknown, and may be related to long-term chronic stimulations as the disease mostly occurs in persons who frequently masturbate.


Signs and Symptoms

The disease occurs mostly after puberty. The skin lesions are pearly, skin colored papules, mostly on the edges of the glans penis near the coronal groove. The early papules are dome-shaped and develop slowly. With the progression of the disease, the papules can be coniform. There are often greyish white, villous materials on the top, and the villi can fall off after scrubbing, but can still form in few days. The pinhead sized papules are arranged in rows along the coronal sulcus, and can also be arranged parallelly in 2 - 3 rows. There are often few nonaligned papules on the frenulum of prepuce. Neighboring papules do not merge with each other. There are not subjective symptoms.

Video 1 pearly penile papules


Histopathology

In the lesions, normal connective tissue with abundant blood vessels and peripheral dense connective tissue and few lymphocytes are visible. Thinned upper epidermis and hypertrophic periphery can be seen.


Diagnosis

On the typical clinical manifestations, the disease can be diagnosed.


Treatment

The disease is benign, and no special treatment is needed. The disease can spontaneously regress after middle age.