Pearly Penile Papules – Frequently Asked Question

Pearly Penile Papules (PPP) is a clinical skin condition of the male genital organs. The Penile Papules are tiny, white or skin coloured spots that form predominately around the coronal margin of the Glans. The tiny spots often appear in small parallel rows and are 1-3 mm in size. Pearly Penile papules are very common, occurring in about 20% of the male population.

The appearance of this condition also means it is often mistaken for a sexually transmitted disease.
Pearly Penile papules are a harmless physiological phenomenon with no malignant potential; they are not infectious and in no way related to sexual activity or personal hygiene.

The Penile Papules usually appear in Men between the ages of 20 and 40 (although have been known to appear in boys as young and 12 and 14), and are typically asymptomatic. The condition will persist throughout life; however; research has shown that they may become less noticeable with increased age.

Although they do no harm, a lot of patients are understandably concerned about the appearance of this condition and have the Penile Papule removal for purely cosmetic reasons. Patients often will have worried that their sexual partners are anxious about the condition being a sexually transmitted infection.

After an initial consultation with Dr. Berkowitz to check patient suitability, the treatment is in most cases carried out immediately. Dr Berkowitz will administer a local anaesthetic and carry out the removal treatment. This treatment involves emitting electrical pulses to the affected area, this is a safe and highly effective procedure which will take no longer than 30 minutes. For more information on the consultation and removal treatment please click here.

Dr Berkowitz graduated with a medical degree (MB ChB) from Birmingham University (UK) in 1980 and, after specialist training, obtained Membership and subsequent Fellowship of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (FRCOG). As an experienced Medical Doctor and a very skilled surgeon, he owns and manages Wimpole Aesthetic Centre.
Before opening the Wimpole Aesthetic Centre in London, he spent time in Paris, Israel and in South Africa as well as in the UK at clinics specifically devoted to the practice of Aesthetic Medicine and Anti-aging Medicine.
Dr Joshua Berkowitz is fully registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) in the UK and with the South African Health Professionals Council.

He is a member of several prestigious medical societies including the BMA and the SAMA. He is also a member of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) as well as the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and its South African equivalent, the SASOG. He is a member of the Independent Doctors Forum (IDF) and is, of course, a member of the British Association of Cosmetic Doctors (BACD).

Fordyce spots are a benign dermatological condition affecting both men and women.
They are most frequently found on the shaft of the penis and the scrotum, and are thought to affect to up to 90% of men.

They present as small spots that, as they sit just below the surface of the skin, are fairly flat.

Because they are benign, and do not pose any health concern, many doctors discourage treatment. However, they may present a cosmetic issue that can be psychologically difficult to deal with and can cause significant embarrassment.

Treatment with laser or hyfrecation can be a very safe and effective method of reducing Fordyce spots if they are causing concern, although they are unlikely to be 100% eliminated.

Both Fordyce spots and Pearly Penile Papules can be found on the male genitals and both exhibit themselves as raised bumps. The two condition can appear quite similar, and it may be difficult for patients to discern between them without medical assistance, particularly when reading descriptions of them.
As they are both benign and non-contagious, neither condition poses any health concern beyond cosmetic and therefore psychological concern.

Both FS and PPP are usually described as ‘flesh-coloured’, but where PPP are more external and similar to a skin tag, FS are usually flatter, and found beneath the surface of the skin.

Another difference is the location. FS are commonly found on the shaft of the penis and the scrotum, whereas PPP are found on the rim or head of the penis, and occasionally the sides of the frenulum.

Yes it is. The treatments are equally effective with regard to removing the papules, but hifrecation is quicker, easier and more accurate. It is also much easier to anaesthetise with hifrecation, which is a plus.

You can pay on the day using cash or a debit or credit card. You can also pay via bank transfer, but then the payment needs to be made in advance so it has cleared into the account by the day of your treatment.

Dr Berkowitz will treat from 14 years of age, with parental consent, and from 18 onwards does not require consent.

Not really. It is likely that the skin will be a little red or pink, and there may be some tenderness if you overstimulate the area. There will be some small scabs where the papule was, which you mustn’t pick. If you have an existing STD, then you may get a flare-up of this following the treatment.

The recovery time does not directly relate to the number of papules you have, or the size they are. However, the more you have or the larger they are the more likely it is that your recovery will be longer. Normal recovery is 10 – 30 days, and you should abstain from sex and masturbation during this time.