A day is the life of a Sexologist - Pearls isn't always a gem

2015-07-15 17:39

Pearls isn’t always a gem

I am often asked “what is the most frequently asked question that a Sexologist can expect to get?” I receive thousands of queries every month via my radio shows, Facebook, Twitter or my website, and whilst there is no number one FAQ, there is definitely a sentence that some of them end with ……..”Am I normal?”

“I wish I was normal like all the others?”

“It must be nice to be so normal”

The problem is, I don’t always know what normal is. Well, sometimes I don’t, but when it comes to Sexual Health the variants can differ. I suppose for some of the people, they mean “without the symptoms of my disorder.” That makes sense, especially as some symptoms of some disorders can be pretty severe and debilitating toward living their everyday life.

However, today I want to demystify a male sexual disorder, and one in particular, that actually isn’t a disorder at all. And NO, it’s not penis size!. I will leave that one for another day.

Mr X sent me the following letter.

I have a condition called PPP or Pearly Penile Papule. Have you heard about it? Is it normal? Please tell me what to do, as my girlfriend says I have warts.

PPP or Pearly penile papules

Hirsuties coronae glandis or PPP are small (1-2mm)finger-like growths that occur commonly on the rim of the penile head. They are arranged circumferentially in one or several rows and are often wrongly assumed to be warts or herpes. Even though the lesions are benign and asymptomatic, they can lead to huge amount of distress and have even resulted in the loss of partners and ruined families.

What are PPP?

Almost like a string of pearls around a lady’s neck, the PPP lies around the ridge of the glans of the male penis, hence the name “Pearly Penile Papules”.

These small growths are also called fibromas. The exact mechanisms underlying their development is unknown. They can occur in up to 20-30% of males and usually start during the late teenage years. Various studies have found that they are much more common in uncircumcised men . Due to their high prevalence, they are considered to be a normal variant and do not form cancers. They are not contracted or spread though sexual activity.

Don’t use Google as your doctor. The Internet is great for research, but always consult with a Health care professional. Men who are unsure of growths, lumps or bumps on their penis, must consult their doctor as soon as possible. It can be very traumatic, if the wrong diagnosis is made and at times the internet may not be very helpful. Female partners should understand the nature of the lesions and that they are not warts. Very often, the wrong conclusion can lead to devastating effects.

Usually treatment is very simple, using a Carbon dioxide laser or Radiofrequency cautery machine. This procedure can be performed in the consulting room, by a Specialist Dermatologist, Plastic surgeon or an Aesthetics medical practitioner. In some cases, circumcision can lead to slow regression of the growths.

Okay, then let’s summarise this. There is no need to panic if one develops PPP. It is normal. It is not cancer, it is definitely not a sexually transmitted infection. Though a correct diagnosis is very important, treatment is rarely warranted.

However, should you feel “more normal” without your PPP, don’t buy remedies on line, or try to remove them yourself. Call for a doctor’s appointment.

www.safersex.co.za

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