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August 1961

Penile Horn: A Case Report

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, Baylor University, College of Medicine, and the section on Dermatology, Veterans Administrative Hospital (Everett R. Seale, M.D., Chairman).

Arch Dermatol. 1961;84(2):322-324. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580140146023

Cutaneous horns in light-exposed areas are not particularly uncommon, especially in the Southwestern United States; however, similar lesions on the glans penis are rare. We have been able to find a total of 34 previously reported cases, of which only 8 occurred in North America.1-7

Penile horns occur as single or multiple lesions.5 They usually start as warty growths that later become hyperkeratotic and assume the appearance of a horn. Taylor6 attributed these lesions to prolonged preputial irritation, and Van der Velde1 stated that all of the cases he reviewed had a preexisting phimosis. Most of the cases reported to date have been in Germans or individuals of predominantly German ancestry.6 Huggins8 mentioned the possibility of a viral etiology based on the work done by Rous9 on cutaneous horns in the western cottontail rabbit.

Clinically, these growths consist of a compact, tapered, keratinous