Thank you for your question! For anyone who has never heard the term PPP… it stands for ‘pearly penile papules‘ and it is a common skin condition of the penis. PPP are a small group of benign (non-cancerous) growths that develop on the penis in some males. PPP can be pink, white, yellow, or (rarely) clear in color, appearing somewhat like tiny pearls. They’re normally very small, ranging from 1-2mm wide by 1-4mm long. The shape, color, and size can vary between people, but all the papules that one person has tend to look the same. The papules are usually found in a single or double row on or around the head (or the tip) of the penis. PPP are harmless skin growths. They are NOT contagious (they cannot be spread to someone else) and they are NOT a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
Typically, health care providers prefer not to treat PPP because the papules don’t cause any health problems and often go away on their own. However, in some cases, men with PPP may experience emotional distress and negative effects on their quality of a person. Laser therapy may be an option to permanently remove PPP; however, health insurance may not cover the cost and it may take more than one treatment to get rid of them. It’s a good idea to talk to your health care provider to learn about possible risks of laser surgery including a change in the color or tone of the skin as well as possible scarring. If you still want to have laser surgery for removal of PPP, then we recommend asking your health care provider about referring you to a specialist (such as a Dermatologist) with experience in performing these treatments and get all of your questions answered. In the meantime, we strongly recommend that you AVOID picking at PPP or attempting to pop them, and NEVER use an over the counter “wart remover” medication anywhere on your penis (PPP are NOT warts) as these medicines can cause severe skin irritation and scarring when being used on the penis.
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