Pearly Penile Papules (Tyson Glands): Causes & Treatment

Pearly penile papules are caused by the presence of visible Tyson glands. This type of glands can be found in men’s genitals in the region around the glans. Tyson glands produce a lubricant liquid that helps penetration during sexual intercourse, and are usually invisible. However, there are some cases in which these glands are more visible, and they look like small papules or white spots around the head of the penis.

Usually, there is no need for treatment for Tyson glands, as they are normal and benign modified glands. However, if they cause any kind of discomfort or low self-esteem, it is recommended to visit a urologist so he can suggest the most suitable treatment.

Pearly Penile Papules (Tyson Glands): Causes & Treatment

What causes Tyson glands to appear

Tyson glands are glands that are present in the penis since birth, and there is no other cause related to their appearance. However, they are more visible during erection and sexual intercourse, as they are responsible for the production of lubricant liquid which eases penetration.

As well as being normal, and benign, Tyson glands do not lead to signs or symptoms. However, some men may feel uncomfortable with their appearance. Tyson glands are little white papules that appear under the head of the penis and they do not itch or hurt. However, if you have papules and then a symptom appears, it is important to go to the doctor so that the cause can be identified as that may not be Tyson glands.

Treatment options 

In most cases Tyson glands do not need any treatment, as they are benign and they do not cause health problems. However, in some men, they can cause a change in the way they see themselves, which can make sexual intercourse harder.

In these cases, the urologist may recommend:

  • Cauterization: this technique consists in using an electric current to burn the glands and remove them from the glans. Usually, this procedure is done with a local anesthetic;
  • Small surgical procedure: the doctor applies a local anesthetic and then uses a scalpel to remove the glands. An experienced urologist can do this in the consulting room;

Even though it would be easier to apply topical medication or lotion to remove Tyson glands, these still do not exist. Additionally, removing the pearly penile papules can cause the skin of the penis to dry out, and it gets irritated and breaks easily. So, urologists usually avoid it and they do not recommend it. 

Is there a home treatment?

There are various home treatments, such as acids and medication for warts and callous. However, these are not safe, as they can cause serious irritation of the penis, and should be avoided. In any case, we advise that you check with a urologist before trying to do any home treatment.

Are pearly penile papules contagious?

Pearly penile papules, provoked by the presence of Tyson glands are not contagious and so they are not considered a sexually transmitted disease.

A lot of times, these lesions can be confused with genital warts provoked by the HPV virus, so the only way of confirming the diagnosis is to check with a urologist.

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