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How do I distinguish between Fordyce spots and Pearly Penile Papules?

How do I distinguish between Fordyce spots and Pearly Penile Papules?123

Dermatological conditions that occur on the genitals are often difficult to distinguish from one another. Two such conditions are Fordyce spots and Pearly Penile Papules. Both are dermatological conditions affecting the genitals. Fordyce spots are a sebaceous prominence, meaning that they are both found near and are an extension of this type of sweat gland. Pearly Penile Papules, not associated with sebaceous glands, are simply skin outgrowths. Both conditions are benign and do not present health concerns. They are also considered to possibly be genetic but as of now the exact cause of the conditions is unknown.

Although reports of color vary, it is typically reported that Fordyce spots tend to be yellowish-white in color, while pearly penile papules have a whiter appearance. It should be noted that both can also be classified as flesh colored. Both conditions are found on the male genitals. Fordyce spots are only located on the shaft and scrotum of the penis and do not appear on the head. Pearly Penile Papules are found on the rim or head of the penis and sometimes around the sides of the frenulum. In addition to location of the bumps, the two conditions also differ in the amount that they protrude. A Fordyce spot, also referred to as a sebaceous prominence, is located completely under the surface of the skin while pearly penile papules tend to appear more like a skin tag.

Both Fordyce spots and Pearly Penile Papules can be found on the male genitals and both exhibit themselves as raised bumps. Although differing slightly in both color and prominence, the two conditions can appear quite similar. Particularly when reading descriptions of the two conditions, a patient will most likely have a difficult time discerning between the two. However, as neither a sebaceous prominence nor a Pearly Penile Papule present a major medical problem, and neither are transmittable, distinguishing between the two is most likely not a major concern.

More commonly reported, Fordyce spots are estimated to appear in ninety percent of the male population.  However, reports of Pearly Penile Papules range anywhere from eight to forty-eight percent depending on the population. One reason for the large range is that circumcision may lower the incidence of Pearly Penile Papules. However, as a sebaceous prominence is never located on the head of the penis, circumcision does affect this condition. Although there are a few inherent differences between Fordyce spots and Pearly Penile Papules, both conditions present a cosmetic issue that can be psychologically difficult to deal with and can cause significant embarrassment for the patient. Our formula primarily deals with the elimination of Fordyce spots, however it can also help reduce the size of Penile Papules with the removal of excess oils.


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