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Pearly penile lesions

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A 22-year-old man came into the office concerned he may have warts on his penis. He believed the warts appeared about 3 months ago. He was single and did not have a sexual partner. He had been dating a woman for 1 year until he graduated from college 4 months ago. His sexual history was serial monogamy with 5 lifetime female sexual partners.

After some hesitation, he noted he slept with a woman one night following a graduation party. He admitted that they were both drunk and that he did not use a condom. He asked if this was how the condition could have developed.

He denied any history of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the result of an HIV test was negative when he donated blood last year. He did not have urethral discharge or burning on urination. The patient had no other symptoms and no chronic illnesses. He generally had a healthy lifestyle, without drug and tobacco use. He said he used to drink at college parties, but rarely had a drink since starting work full-time.

On physical exam, the patient had no fever or lymphadenopathy. A genital exam (Figure 1) with the foreskin retracted revealed skin-colored papules on the shaft of the penis that were somewhat verrucous. The papules seemed to make a ring around the shaft just proximal to the corona of the glans. Closer inspection showed smaller pearly papules surrounding the glans on the corona (Figure 2).

Large verrucuous papules

Skin-colored papules on the patient’s penis, forming a ring around the shaft.

Detail of the smaller papules

Smaller, pearly papules were also seen surrounding the glans on the corona.

Are The Larger Verrucous Papules Really Warts?
What Are The Smaller Papules And do they need treatment?


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