Pearly penile papules are small (1 to 2mm) round bumps that are attached to the rim of the head of the penis. These bumps can be the color of the skin, translucent, white, yellow, or pink. The bumps can sometimes go all the way around the rim of the head of the penis, and the bumps can form multiple rows around the head of the penis.
These bumps (or papules) are completely normal and not a sign of infection or uncleanliness. They are not cancerous and are not precancerous lesions. It is unclear as to how many men have these papules, but they can occur in anywhere from 8% to 48% of men. Studies suggest that they occur more often in uncircumcised men than in circumcised men. These papules tend to appear when a man is in his 20s or 30s, although they can occur in teen males.
What can be done about them?
Because these bumps on the penis are not caused by an infection and are not painful or uncomfortable, they do not need to be treated or removed. They will frequently become less noticeable as the man approaches his 40s. That being said, men who have them are often embarrassed by the bumps because they are afraid someone will think they are an STD. Because teens are very concerned about their bodies, they will be particularly uncomfortable with not having the papules removed.