What is Hirsuties Papillaris Genitalis
Hirsuties papillaris genitalis (aka pearly penile papules or hirsuties coronae glandis) are small white coloured skin tags or domes that form around the penis gland. They appear in rows around the rim of the penis head and may also appear on either side of the frenulum. [See Hirsuties papillaris genitalis Pictures]
If you have pimple like structures either singularly or in clusters on the shaft of the penis or scrotum then this is not pearly penile papules. These are commonly known as 'Fordyce Spots' or 'Sebaceous Prominence'. Find out more information about Fordyce Spots here.
Pearly penile papules are considered a "normal" variant. They are totally harmless and are not contagious in any way. They are not a sexually transmitted disease (STD) therefore you could not have been "infected" by sexual contact nor is there a risk of passing this onto your sexual partner.
On appearance, they can sometimes be mistaken for a sexually transmitted disease, such as genital warts. The skin tags should not be open wounds, should not weep and should not itch or cause any irritation. If they do then they may not be pearly penile papules.
If you are unsure or need reassurance you should consult a doctor for guidance.
The cause or rather the reason hirsuties papillaris genitalis (aka pearly penile papules or hirsuties coronae glandis) appear is unknown. Some say they may be swollen or blocked sweat glans or pores. It is known, however, that pearly penile papules are in no way related to sexual activity or bad hygiene.
A study shows "Pearly penile papules usually begin to appear between the ages of 20 and 40 years" (Dean, 2000). However, various reports from teenagers in forum, reports through my website, and from my own history show they can, and i believe more frequently, start to appear during teenage years (12-16 age range).
Another study purports:
In the US: "the incidence of pearly penile papules reportedly ranges from 8-48%. Several reports suggest an increased incidence in uncircumcised versus circumcised men (22% vs. 12%, respectively). One study found a greater incidence in black versus white men, in those circumcised (21% vs. 7%, respectively) and uncircumcised (44% vs. 33%, respectively)" (Brown: 2001).
Through running this site I can confirm that the incidence of pearly penile papules appears to be higher in uncircumcised men than in circumcised me. Very few men I have corresponded with, only one come to mind, have been circumcised prior to development of pearly penile papules.
Being a gay male, I have seen my share of penises in my life. With the high incidence rates indicated in the above study, I would have expected to encounter many more guys with pearly penile papules, however, I have only ever encountered three other guys with pearly penile papules.
Another interesting observation I have made is that many men, unbeknownst to them, harbor the potential to develop hirsuties papillaris genitalis just below the skin surface. On close inspection faint white dots can be seen under the skin. For these men the papules do not grow/protrude, so they are none the wiser. This observation supports the indication that pearly penile papules is a "normal variant" with these features just exaggerated in guys with pearly penile papules.
Once hirsuties papillaris genitalis start to appear it may take up to 4 years for them to completely come to the surface. When this period of growth ends they do not seem to grow any more and unfortunately do not subside or disappear by themselves. There have been reports of them diminishing (but not disappearing) with age, however the degree that they diminish is unclear. Reports from guys in the 40 - 60 age range indicate that pearly penile papules will remain throughout your life unless treatment is sought. In my own experience they did not diminish in appearance at all over the 11 years I had them.
They are not dangerous to your health and in no way should you attempt to remove them yourself because you risk doing permanent damage.
As hirsuties papillaris genitalis are considered a "normal" variant, Dermatologists advise that no treatment is required. There is no known cream or topical application that is effective in removing hirsuties papillaris genitalis. This includes wart removal products. There have been many home remedies touted over the Internet, and many I have tried myself, however none have shown to be effective in even diminishing the appearance of hirsuties papillaris genitalis let alone removing them completely. Check out my review of some products that claim to "cure" hirsuties papillaris genitalis.
If you want your hirsuties papillaris genitalis removed for cosmetic reasons, and to ease any anxieties that you may feel, CO2 laser treatment is a simple cosmetic procedure available that is supported and documented by the medical profession. It is an effective treatment option for pearly penile papules with little discomfort and disruption to your life. I am living proof that it works. NoMorePapules.com details my story through CO2 laser treatment [Read more].