At this point in time, the only effective treatment is removal either through carbon dioxide laser, electrosurgery or excisional surgery. Though topical creams and home remedies abound, none have been shown effective for treating PPP.
CO2 Laser Removal: This method targets lesions and removes them using a carbon dioxide laser without damaging the surrounding skin. This is an outpatient procedure performed using topical numbing cream and lidocaine to control pain. Recovery from this treatment generally takes 1-2 weeks, with some swelling, redness and scabbing occurring. Patients are able to return to most normal activities immediately; returning to sexual activity usually in about 1 week. This procedure should only be administered by a board-certified dermatologist.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Groff, board-certified Dermatologist
click to see additional photos
Electrosurgery: Electrodessication with curettage removes PPP lesions by scraping them away under local anesthesia. The wounds are then cauterized to stop bleeding and seal the wound. Scarring often occurs with this method of removal.
Surgical Excision: In this pearly penile papules treatment the lesions are surgically removed and closed with sutures. It is performed under local anesthetic. Surgical excision is less targeted than CO2 laser ablation and tends to cause more post-operative discomfort.
Because pearly penile papules are not physically harmful, treatment is optional, performed merely for cosmetic reasons. For those seeking pearly penile papules treatment, removal through one of the above methods is recommended. Some physicians may recommend cryotherapy, a common treatment for genital warts which theoretically freezes the lesions off using liquid nitrogen. Though cryotherapy is commonly used to treat warts and other lesions, its effectiveness as a PPP treatment is inconsistent and not guaranteed.