What Are Pearly Penile Papules?
Pearly penile papules (also known as Hirsuties Coronae Glandis or Hirsutoid Papillomas) are benign, skin colored bumps that ring the edge of the head of the penis. These small protuberances can range in size from 1mm – 3mm. Studies show that 15% to 45% of all men get PPP at some point in their lives, and they occur most often in younger, uncircumcised men. This condition is usually first noticed when the patients are in their twenties or thirties.
Although they are not related to a pathological condition and pose no risk to a man’s health, most patients seek medical attention because they or their sexual partners consider them aesthetically displeasing. Sometimes, they are mistaken for HPV warts or other sexually transmitted diseases. However, PPP are not contagious and do not threaten your health. You do not contract them through sexual contact and they are not linked in any way to cancer. PPP are actually quite common, and, aside from occasional sensitivity during sex, cause no harm. The number, size, or area covered by PPP is not affected by diet, exercise, or sexual activity.
After noticing these bumps, they should be brought to the attention of a doctor. Once it is clear that the diagnosis is PPP and not genital warts or molluscum, you can discuss treatment options. Since they are wholly benign and, in some cases, may resolve over time without treatment, doing nothing is also reasonable choice.
How to Treat PPP
Searching the Internet, one finds many possible ‘treatments’ for PPP. Recommendations include tea tree oil, acid peels and even mint toothpaste. To our knowledge, none of these ‘treatments’ work and at times were reported to cause pain and discomfort.
For those who have this condition long term or who desire cosmetic improvement, we recommend a series of treatments with our CO2 laser at Westside Aesthetics. According to the medical literature and confirmed by our experience, the CO2 laser is the safest and most reliable means of eliminating pearly penile papules in Los Angeles.
The carbon dioxide laser (CO2 laser) was one of the earliest lasers to be developed (invented by Kumar Patel of Bell Labs in 1964), and is still commonly used to treat many conditions including Hirsutoid Papillomas. Carbon dioxide lasers are the highest-power continuous wave lasers that are currently available. The CO2 laser produces a beam of infrared light, which makes it very useful in surgical procedures because water (which makes up most biological tissue) absorbs this frequency of light very well. When the laser makes contact with the skin, it essentially vaporizes the affected tissue and stimulates collagen production, thus creating new smooth skin.
What to Expect from Your PPP Treatment
Dr. Cohen has studied this condition for many years and has successfully treating hundreds of cases. Dr. Cohen completed his undergraduate degree in Neurophysiology at University of California San Diego and earned his M.D. at The Chicago Medical School. He went on to do a research fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at UCLA and a clinical fellowship under the renowned Beverly Hills surgeon Dr. Bernard Koire. Dr. Koire is an internationally acclaimed Cosmetic Surgeon and forefather to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.
During your free initial consultation, Dr. Cohen will perform a thorough medical examination to see if you are a candidate for PPP treatment in Los Angeles. He will show you before and after photos, explain the entire procedure and make sure you feel completely comfortable with the treatment plan. After the initial consultation and if you are determined to be a good candidate, we will schedule the procedure. At this time, we require a $500 deposit. The total cost is $2500 and includes 3 laser treatment sessions.
On the day of your procedure, topical numbing cream will be applied to the area for about an hour. During this time, you can sit comfortably in our private waiting area. CO2 ablation causes minimal discomfort and the actual treatment time rarely lasts more than 30 minutes. Patients may experience some temporary scabbing and swelling yet very little pain. We routinely prescribe oral pain medication, but most patients do not need it past the first day. Scabbing and swelling fade quickly and most patients are back to normal within two weeks. We recommend no sexual activity during these two weeks.
To learn more about PPP treatment options or to schedule a free consultation in the Los Angeles area, contact us by phone or e-mail today. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have and make you feel completely comfortable with the entire process.