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What Is Peyronie’s Disease? Causes and Symptoms


WRITTEN BY: UPMC
Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Peyronie’s disease is a condition in which scar tissue, sometimes called plaque, develops under the skin of the penis, impairing erections and causing a bend or curvature of the organ.

The plaque or scar is usually located on the top of or either side of the penis. The plaque or scar tissue can cause shortening of the penis, curvature of the penis with erection, decreased penile rigidity and/or stability with erection.

What Causes Peyronie’s Disease?

Peyronie’s disease has no known cause, but it is linked to injury or trauma of the penis. Because the condition occurs gradually, it is difficult to link Peyronie’s disease to specific injuries or events.

Genetics may make some men more susceptible to the condition than others.

Signs and Symptoms of Peyronie’s Disease

  • Flat “lumps” of scar tissue can be felt just beneath the skin
  • Curving or bending as well as indentations that can give the penis an hourglass shape
  • The penis may actually become shorter
  • Erectile dysfunction

Who’s at Risk of Peyronie’s Disease?

Peyronie’s disease most commonly occurs in men who are 50 or older, but young and middle-age men can sometimes develop the condition as well.

Those with active sex lives run the risk of sexual injury, which can lead to small fractures and the potential for the formation of scar tissue. Those who have a family history of Peyronie’s disease, and those who suffer from Dupuytren’s Contracture may find themselves at an increased risk.

How to Treat Peyronie’s

If you suspect that you have Peyronie’s disease, talk to your doctor. An exam can be performed to detect the condition.

Peyronie’s disease will rarely go away on its own. The most common initial step in therapy is to prescribe an oral medication. If medication fails, Xiaflex®, a medicine injected directly in to the scar tissue is prescribed. If neither oral nor injectable therapy are successful, there are surgical options that can remove scar tissue and/or straighten the penis.

Coping with Peyronie’s Disease

Peyronie’s disease can be devastating from both a psychological and sexual performance perspective. In addition, it is rare for this disorder to resolve on its own. Luckily, there are excellent treatment options that can be pursued. The key is to ask for help.

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