Hirsuties coronae glandis (also known as hirsutoid papillomas and pearly penile papules) (PPP) are small protuberances that may form on the ridge of the glans of the human penis. They are a normal anatomical variation in humans and are sometimes described as vestigial remnants of penile spines, sensitive features found in the same location in other primates. In species in which penile spines are expressed, as well as in humans who have them, the spines are thought to contribute to sexual pleasure and quicker orgasms. It has been theorized that pearly penile papules stimulate the female vagina during sexual intercourse. In addition, pearly penile papules secrete oil that moistens the glans of the penis.
The papules appear as one or several rows of small, pearly or flesh-colored, smooth, dome-topped bumps situated circumferentially around the corona or sulcus of the glans. They may range in size from less than 1 mm to 3 mm. As of 1999, different studies have produced estimates of incidence ranging from 8 to 48 percent of all men. Studies suggest that it occurs more often on younger men and those who have not been circumcised. One study found them in 33.3% of males who had not been circumcised and in 7.1% of males who were circumcised.
Pearly penile papules are sometimes mistakenly confused with a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection due to a perceived similarity in appearance.
A similar expression, vestibular papillomatosis of the vulva or “hirsuties papillaris vulvae”, occurs in females and similarly can be misinterpreted as an HPV infection. Like hirsuties papillaris genitalis, it is a normal variation on human anatomy.