Penis and scrotum
Inflammatory lesions
Pearly penile papules

Authors: Antonio Cubilla, M.D., Alcides Chaux, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 2 April 2018, last major update February 2010

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Pearly penile papules

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Cite this page: Cubilla, A., Chaux, A. Pearly penile papules. website. Accessed January 22nd, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Benign condition of 20 - 30% of normal young and middle aged males, asymptomatic
  • Also called hirsutoid papillomas, papillomatosis of glans corona
Clinical features
  • Multiple pearly gray-white fibroepithelial papillomas, 1 - 2 mm and in dorsal glans corona
  • Usually arranged in 2 - 3 rows
  • Rarely covers most of glans
  • Reduced prevalence in circumcised men
  • Has been confused with Tyson glands, which don't exist in humans (Wikipedia: Preputial Gland [Accessed 2 April 2018])
  • None required; disappears with age; CO2 laser if patients request removal (Dermatol Surg 2002;28:617)
  • Also cryotherapy, electrodesiccation, podophyllin or curettage
Clinical images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

AFIP images:

Regular rows of
small papules
form a ring
around the corona

Images hosted on other servers:

1 - 2 cm papules

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Hyperkeratosis associated with a fibrovascular stroma, simulating an angiofibroma
  • No koilocytosis, no significant inflammation
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

AFIP images:

Benign epithelial hyperplasia with vascular fibrous stroma

Differential diagnosis
  • Condyloma acuminatum: nonuniform, not arranged in rows and has HPV related changes
  • Syphilis: ulcer with indurated and punched out base, marked plasmacytic inflammation and serologic evidence of syphilis