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“PPP” (Pearly Penile Papules: NOT an STD!)


Posted by August 6th, 2018 in Miscellaneous

Pearly penile papules (the titular “PPP” as we call it) is something one never hopes to come across — but it’s a real-life condition and is often confused with an STD (Sexual transmitted diseases), but it’s NOT.

Pearly penile papules — small, dome-shaped to filiform skin-colored papules typically located on the sulcus or corona of the glans penis — are generally arranged circumferentially. They occur in one or sometimes several rows and often are wrongly assumed to be transmitted sexually. Often people confuse them to be HPV warts.

This couldn’t be further from the truth! PPP are considered to be normal variant and harbor zero malignant potential. They are also completely unrelated to sexual activity. However, PPP lesions often cause great anxiety to patients; that is, until their benign nature is clarified.

Who Most Often Gets PPP?

Pearly penile papules occur more frequently in uncircumcised males vs circumcised men (22% vs 12% respectively), but it remains unclear what the mechanisms underlying PPP development are. We do see that, among males circumcised later in life who’ve previously developed PPP, that the regression of the papules happens quite commonly. It also appears that black men get PPP more frequently than in men.

The Problem with PPP

Patients with PPP often feel self conscious, but beyond that PPPs typically are asymptomatic, persisting throughout the patient’s entire life. It can cause angst with their partners since they are unaware of the benign nature of the problem, often thinking that this is a STD.

Diagnosis and PPP Treatment

An experienced dermatologist can help diagnose PPP — we can diagnose and treat PPP here at Rejuvé, as a matter of fact!

Electrodessication with Curettage using Hyfrecator is a treatment option we offer our patients who live with PPP, which involves the papules being dessicated (induced into a state of supreme dryness) with electricity. After this process, the residual tissues can be removed by scraping (or scooping). Manageable pain during recovery is also to be expected.

Our Personal PPP Expertise

Dr. Tang has studied this condition for many years, successfully treating PPP in numerous patients. Dr. Tang completed his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Psychology at University of California Irvine, earning his M.D. at Tufts University, then completing his residency at Stanford University. He’s been practicing aesthetic medicine and performing both nonsurgical and surgical enhancements for over 12 years.

Take Advantage of a Complimentary Consultation

During your complimentary consultation, we’ll perform a thorough medical examination where we’ll if you are the right candidate for a PPP (Pearly Penile Papules) treatment in the San Jose Bay Area.

During your free consultation, we’ll go over the steps of the procedure, making sure to answer any questions you have that arise. We want to make sure you’re completely comfortable and confident with your personalized treatment plan. After your initial consultation, if we find you to be a good candidate, we’ll move forward with scheduling your procedure.

What to Expect from Your PPP Treatment

On procedure day, we’ll apply a topical numbing cream to the treatment area for about 30 minutes. The electrical desiccation procedure itself causes minimal to no discomfort after the area has been numbed. Treatment time will vary depending on severity, but typically lasts about 30 minutes.

After treatment, some patients experience slight swelling and soreness. This can last anywhere from 2-4 days. Areas treated will form temporary scabs, but these will heal and fall off within one week to 10 days. We have the authority to prescribe oral pain medications — but most patients don’t need to resort to taking these. Most patients go back to completely normal within a two week time frame.

Of course, we recommend abstaining from sexual activity during the two week healing period. Typically 2-3 treatments are needed for optimal results. The procedure itself does not cause any permanent scars and there is no effect on sexual activities– so no worries!

Care to learn more about our PPP treatment? Contact Rejuvé in Saratoga Bay Area CA today to schedule your complimentary consultation and we’ll find out if the procedure is right for you!

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