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January 1969

Tyson's "Glands": Ectopic Sebaceous Glands and Papillomatosis Penis

Author Affiliations

New York; Fort Eustis, Va

From the Beth Israel Medical Center New York (Dr. Hyman) and McDonald Army Hospital Fort Eustis, Va (CPT Brownstein).

Arch Dermatol. 1969;99(1):31-36. doi:10.1001/archderm.1969.01610190037006

Tyson noted macroscopic lesions on the corona of the penis, interpreting them as the source of smegma. Later authors described the same lesions under such terms as papillomatosis corona penis. Though the connective tissue nature of the papillomatous protrusions was recognized, they did not equate the condition with that previously observed by Tyson.

Since Tyson had used the term "gland," microscopists who found ectopic sebaceous glands on the glans and prepuce referred to them as Tyson's glands, although they are not what Tyson described. Neither papillomatosis corona penis nor ectopic sebaceous glands appear to play a role in the formation of smegma; papillomatosis is not glandular and smegma is not a secretion. It is suggested that the term Tyson's glands be replaced by the appropriate descriptive expressions: papillomatosis corona penis or ectopic sebaceous glands.

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