Erythroplasia of Queyrat is an early form of skin cancer found on the penis. The cancer is called squamous cell carcinoma in situ.
The condition is most often seen in men who have not been circumcised. It is linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV).
The main symptoms are a rash and irritation on the tip or shaft of the penis that persists. The area is most often red and does not respond to topical creams.
Exams and Tests
The health care provider will examine the penis to diagnose the condition and will perform a biopsy to make the diagnosis.
Treatment may include:
- Skin creams such as imiquimod or 5-fluorouracil. These creams are used for several weeks to months
- Anti-inflammatory (steroid) creams, if other medicines do not work.
If skin creams do not work, your provider may recommend other treatments such as:
- Mohs micrographic surgery to remove the area
- Laser surgery
- Freezing the cancer cells (cryotherapy)
- Scraping away cancer cells and using electricity to kill any that remain (curettage and electrodesiccation)
Habif TP. Premalignant and malignant nonmelanoma skin tumors. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2016:chap 21.
Regan TD, Lawrence N. Bowen's disease and erythroplasia of Querat. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap. 31.
Review Date 7/23/2015
Updated by: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.