Pearly penile papules regress in older patients and with circumcision
University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK. International Journal of STD & AIDS
(Impact Factor: 1.05).
11/2009; 20(11):768-70. DOI: 10.1258/ijsa.2009.009190
This study assesses the prevalence and correlates of pearly penile papules (PPP) in two non-genitourinary (GU) medicine male cohorts (<25 and >50 years). PPP were categorised in 188 university students (<25 years), based on self-examination, and 70 patients (>50 years), based on clinician examination. PPP were categorised from 1 to 4, based on increasing papule size and distribution. An anonymous questionnaire was used to identify associations with PPP prevalence. The prevalence of PPP was 38.3% in <25 years, and 11.4% in >50 years (P < 0.001). The prevalence of categories 3 and 4 PPP was 8.5% in <25 years, and 1.4% in >50 years (P < 0.05). In the younger age group, the prevalence of PPP was 26.5% in circumcised participants, and 42.4% in uncircumcised participants (P < 0.05), but was unrelated to either frequency of sexual intercourse or time since first sexual intercourse. In conclusion, PPP disappear with age, and any PPP in patients >50 years are less marked than those in patients <25 years. Patients should be advised accordingly. PPP are less prevalent in circumcised men. Patients could be advised to wear the foreskin rolled back - this may maximize exposure of the coronal area to normal abrasion, which may hasten PPP regression.
Available from: Michal Sobjanek
- "PPP are most commonly observed in non-circumcised male adolescents and young adults. With age the number of lesions either decreases or disappear . Clinically, PPP appear as one or several rows of small, flesh-colored, yellow-pinkish or transparent, more rarely yellowish, smooth, dome-topped papules, localized circumferentially around the glans penis. "
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ABSTRACT: So far there have been no papers analyzing the incidence of 'non-pathological' lesions or normal variants on the male external genitalia. Subsequently, the number of patients consulted due to the presence of such lesions remains unknown. The aim of the study was to estimate the incidence of normal variants in patients who were consulted due to lesions on the skin or mucosa of the male external genitalia.
The study group consisted of 400 males, aged 3-91, who were consulted due to lesions on the genitalia in the Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology of the Medical University of Gdańsk.
The most common lesions were hyperpigmentation of the median raphe of the penis and scrotum (85.6%), pearly penile papules (24%), and prominent veins (24%). Sebaceous hyperplasia or ectopic sebaceous glands were revealed in 9% of patients, respectively. Melanocytic nevi were diagnosed with similar frequency (9.5%), whereas skin tags more rarely (7%). Other 'non-pathological' lesions were diagnosed in a considerably lower number of patients. In 32 patients (8% of all patients) the reason of admission to the Clinic was just the presence of some 'non-pathological' lesions. Pearly penile papules were found to be the most common condition, occurring in 78.1% patients.
Normal variants represent a substantial percentage of generally asymptomatic lesions and the only indication for their removal is cosmetic discomfort or venerophobia.
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Pearly penile papules (PPPs) are benign, dome-shaped lesions found around the corona of the penis. Treatments have varied in the past; however, to our knowledge, the use of the pulsed dye laser (PDL) for this condition has never been reported in the literature. Such papules are histologically analogous to angiofibromas; thus, we report PDL is an appropriate, effective, and nonablative method of treatment.
Four patients diagnosed with PPPs were treated with PDL. Each patient reported little to no discomfort during the procedure. Minimal bruising was found in all 4 patients, which diminished over time. One patient stated slight discomfort after the procedure; this however, resolved in a weeks' time. Complete clearance of the papules was noted after 2 to 3 treatments in 2 patients and a reduction of the papules in 2 patients.
Conclusions and relevance:
These 4 case reports illustrate the advantages of using PDL when treating PPP. In each patient, the appearance of the papules was either completely diminished or significantly reduced after the procedure. This result was achieved with only minimal discomfort felt by the patients. The use of PDL offers dermatologists a new treatment modality for PPPs that is safe, easily performed, and produces excellent aesthetic results.
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