Your Cart

What Are Pearly Penile Papules?

What Are Pearly Penile Papules?

Pearly penile papules are small spherical bumps alongside the rim of the top of the penis. Whereas seeing small bumps on their penis could also be alarming for a teen, these bumps (or papules) are typically nothing to fret about.

In case your teen is sexually lively, they may be afraid they’ve a sexually transmitted an infection (STI). Nonetheless, these bumps are fully regular and never an indication of an infection (notice that different kinds of bumps could also be because of an infection and wish medical therapy) or uncleanliness. They’re additionally not cancerous and usually are not precancerous lesions.

Whereas the situation is taken into account widespread, it’s unclear precisely what number of males have pearly penile papules, that are additionally referred to as hirsuties papillaris genitalis or hirsutoid papillomas, or why they happen.


Pearly penile papules are benign, small (1 to 2 mm) spherical bumps which might be hooked up to the rim of the top of the penis. These bumps, which can appear to look abruptly, might be the colour of the pores and skin, translucent, white, yellow, or pink. The bumps can generally go all the best way across the rim of the top of the penis, and the bumps can kind a number of rows across the head of the penis. They aren’t painful, swollen, or itchy.


The causes of pearly penile papules are poorly understood. Nonetheless, analysis means that they will happen in anyplace from 14% to 48% of males. Research recommend that they present up extra typically in uncircumcised males than in circumcised males. These bumps have a tendency to look when a person is of their late phases of puberty.

Differential Prognosis

There are a number of different situations that may produce bumps on the penis, a few of which do want therapy. A health care provider or pediatrician can decide whether or not these may be the culprits as an alternative of pearly penile papules. Some potential different causes of bumps on the top of the penis embrace the next:


Psoriasis is a pores and skin situation which will both trigger tight crimson patches or raised white bumps on the pores and skin, together with on the top of the penis.

Lichen Sclerosus

Lichen sclerosus is a pores and skin situation that causes patches of white, shiny pores and skin, sometimes within the genital or anal space. These patches could also be itchy or painful.

Fordyce Spots

Fordyce spots are enlarged sebaceous glands (which secrete an oily serum to maintain pores and skin wholesome). The bumps are yellowish or white and also can happen on the shaft of the penis. Like pearly penile papules, this situation is innocent and doesn’t require therapy.

Tyson Glands

Tyson glands are additionally raised sebaceous glands and seem as yellow or white papules. These are additionally not of medical concern.

Molluscum Contagiosum

Pearly penile papules also can resemble molluscum contagiosum, a viral situation that’s widespread in kids and poses no hurt. Whereas it may be contracted via sexual contact in youngsters and adults, it’s often transmitted via informal contact in kids (for instance, sharing a towel with somebody who’s contaminated).

In molluscum, the bumps are agency, dome-shaped, and have a dimple within the heart. They might itch however are painless, and might be present in quite a few locations on the physique, together with the genitals, face, neck, arms, palms, stomach, and inside thighs. Typically, this rash resolves by itself, however a dermatologist can present therapy if the rash just isn’t clearing, or to forestall additional unfold of the rash.

Genital Warts

Pearly penile papules also can resemble genital warts that are attributable to human papillomavirus—the most typical sexually transmitted an infection. Genital warts could seem as a single wart or a set of warts across the penis.

They might be easy or have a cauliflower-like look, and they’re variable in whether or not they clear, get larger, or keep the identical. Remedy varies based mostly on the variety of warts current and their location.

Whereas pearly penile papules are benign, different similar-looking situations could require medical therapy, so it is vital to seek the advice of a doctor to get an correct prognosis.


As a result of these bumps on the penis usually are not attributable to an an infection and usually are not painful or uncomfortable, they don’t should be handled or eliminated. They’ll continuously grow to be much less noticeable as a person will get older. Nonetheless, beauty therapies are an choice.

Some males who’ve them are embarrassed by the bumps as a result of they’re afraid somebody will suppose they’re an STI. As a result of teenagers are usually very involved about their our bodies, they could be significantly uncomfortable with not having the papules eliminated.

Most research recommend {that a} carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is the perfect and best therapy for the removing of those pearly penile papules. Different therapy choices embrace radiosurgery, cryosurgery, and excisional surgical procedure. Word that there are dangers in treating these bumps, together with that making an attempt to take away them could cause scarring or an infection.


Whereas it’s a innocent situation, pearly penile papules can have an effect on vanity and physique picture. Understanding that these bumps are fully regular and customary could enhance an individual’s vanity and luxury stage round accepting the papules as they’re. Know that every individual’s physique is totally different and having these bumps is only one variation that some males have. Moreover, as famous above, this situation will seemingly go away with time as properly.

A Phrase From Verywell

Whereas pearly penile papules are a innocent, widespread situation, you may need to be sure that’s what you (or your teen) have. So, in the event you see bumps in your penis, contact your pediatrician or household healthcare supplier. Solely somebody who has really seen the papules can precisely diagnose what they’re and rule out different potential causes.

Moreover, you are having intercourse and are afraid you may need an STI, it is vital to see your physician. Even when you’ve got pearly penile papules and never an STI, you should definitely speak to somebody you belief to debate methods to keep away from getting a sexually transmitted an infection.

Verywell Household makes use of solely high-quality sources, together with peer-reviewed research, to assist the information inside our articles. Learn our editorial course of to be taught extra about how we fact-check and preserve our content material correct, dependable, and reliable.
  1. Aldahan AS, Brah TK, Nouri Okay. Prognosis and Administration of Pearly Penile Papules. Am J Mens Well being. 2018;12(3):624-627. doi:10.1177/1557988316654138

  2. Leung AKC, Barankin B, Hon KLE. Molluscum Contagiosum: An Replace. Latest Pat Inflamm Allergy Drug Discov. 2017;11(1):22-31. doi:10.2174/1872213X11666170518114456

  3. Yanofsky VR, Patel RV, Goldenberg G. Genital warts: a complete evaluation. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2012;5(6):25-36.

  4. Gan SD, Graber EM. Remedy of Pearly Penile Papules with Fractionated CO2 Laser. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2015;8(5):50-2.

Extra Studying

  • Aldahan AS et al. Prognosis and administration of pearly penile papules. Am J Mens Well being. 2016 Jun 16. 

  • Teichman JM, Thompson IM, Elston DM. Noninfectious penile lesions Am Fam Doctor. 2010 Jan 15-81(2):167-74.

  • American Academy of Dermatology. Molluscum contagiousum
  • Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. (January 2017). Human Papillomavirus: HPV and Males – Truth Sheet.
  • Duffill MA. (2008). DermNet NZ. Pearly penile papules. 

By Barbara Poncelet

 Barbara Poncelet, CRNP, is an authorized pediatric nurse practitioner specializing in teen well being.

× WhatsApp