What is Penile Melanosis?
Today, you will come across a rare but cosmetically most disturbing topic for some of the candidates is Penile Melanosis. Whereas, others may assume it a normal phenomenon and live it with no objection.
Penile Lentiginosis is another name for Penile Melanosis, characterized by irregular and ill-defined, multiple dark brown colored spots or patches of skin that do not cause any harm the patient in-aesthetic and hyperpigmented appearance of the male groin or penis.
Also, this hyperpigmentation usually occurs at the shaft and glans penis. (1)
Benign Penile Melanosis
It is a benign condition that is usually harmless, cannot spread to other body parts like the malignant ones, and remain confined to an area of origin.
What Research Says?
Melanosis should not be confused with Melanoma as Melanosis results from melanin pigment deposition, also Melanoma is a type of tumor.
Research studies also concluded that there is still no patient found that had experienced any malignant or harmful clinical presentation of Penile Melanosis. That is why it is a benign and mild condition. (2)
Firstly, Penile Melanosis is an uncommon disorder, with about 1 case out of 10,000 reported in various research studies. (4)
Any trigger that stimulates melanocytes or other pigment-producing cells will push the hyper pigmented macules to deposit at the confined area of the penis.
Additionally, the hyperpigmented macules are the concentrated deposition of one or more skin pigments, including Melanin, Lipofuscin, and or Hemosiderin. However, the most ordinary share is of melanin in the macular development of Penile Melanosis. (6)
The exact cause of Penile Melanosis is unknown, and it is also not obvious why some men experience it and others do not. (7) Besides, some of the most seen predisposing factors involved in the genesis of Penile Melanosis are;
- Genetic Predisposition
- Recent or Previous Trauma to the Penis
- Previous Scar
- Excessive Cicatricial Tissue production due to any reason
- Age between 15-72 years.
- Anti-Cancerous Medications
- Phototherapy with “Psoralen Ultraviolet A” Radiations (PUVA) for certain skin-related disorders.
Except for macular hyperpigmentation of penile skin, also no other sign and symptoms have been reported yet. Further, Penile Melanosis may sometimes associate with the “Lichen Sclerosus” on the uncircumcised skin. In this case, circumcision of the penile foreskin is necessary to prevent further loss. (8)
Further description of hyperpigmented macule is;
- Non- hemorrhagic
- Non-expected to change over time (may fade out in some of the cases)
- Usually dark brown or light black
- A measurement appears to be one cm in length.
Some of the cases do not need any treatment, so the hyperpigmented macules may go away independently. Nevertheless, other cases may search out its therapeutic management to get rid of Penile Melanosis. (9)
1. Medical Management
It does not respond to the medications, but in some cases, topical application of steroids and other recommended medications may be sufficient.
Laser treatment has also been seen to be effective in some of the cases to remove Penile Melanosis. That is why it is better to either leave it or treat it with a surgical method.
Some patients find it easy to undergo removal surgery. So, the surgical procedure involves peeling off the skin’s hyperpigmented spots and replacing them with an auto-graft.
Thoughts cannot be altered and stopped, and definitely, you will think about the role of physiotherapy in the case? So, my answer to this question is, physiotherapy can do nothing to reverse hyperpigmentation due to Penile Melanosis. Still, after a surgical procedure, you can do pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and prevent subsequent urinary incontinence.
Prognosis is good as Penile Melanosis may disappear on its own or may need a non-invasive and confined Laser therapy also Skin grafting surgical procedure.
In Conclusion, it is benign, harmless, and non-cancerous, and no research evidence can claim as the trigger for Melanoma. However, the patient may still be anxious about its cause and outcomes. Just consult with your dermatologist and get the related know-how of the existing condition before any dermatological procedure.
Besides, be relaxed, keep calm, and not get anxiety or depression for such a harmless and confined skin condition. Hence, feel free to do a healthy discussion with us regarding such a type of problem, outcomes, and Laser and surgical procedure results if you have undergone any. At last, do not forget to share your experiences by scrolling down to the comment section.
Research articles and related links
- Revuz J, Clerici T. Penile melanosis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1989 Apr;20(4):567-70.
- Jean R, Thierry C. Penile melanosis, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 20(4), 567-570, 1989.
- Tchernev, G., Chokoeva, A. A., & Mangarov, H. (2017). Penile Melanosis Associated with Lichen Sclerosus et Atrophicus: First Description in the Medical Literature. Open access Macedonian journal of medical sciences, 5(5), 692–693.
- Jairath, Vijayeeta & Jindal, Nidhi & Sehrawat, Manu & Jain, VK & Kaur, Sarabjit. (2015). Benign penile melanosis: A linear variant. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology.
- Garcí, R. & Olmos, A. & Sánchez, S. & Sanz, C.. (2003). Penile Melanosis: Two Cases Report. Medicine Cutanea Ibero-Latino-Americana. 31. 373-376.
- Mahto, Mrinalini & Woolley, Paul & Ashworth, John. (2004). Pigmented penile macules. International Journal of STD & AIDS. 15. 717-9.
- Kopf AW, Bart RS Tumor conference 43: penile lentigo. J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1982; 8: 637-639.
- Penile Melanosis.
- Penile melanosis: What to know.
- Jabiles, A. G., Del Mar, E. Y., Perez, G., Vera, F. Q., Montoya, L. M., & Deza, C. (2017). Penile Melanoma: a 20-Year analysis of six patients at the National Cancer Institute of Peru, Lima. Ecancermedicalscience, 11, 731.