[Question #100] Herpes like symptoms

38 months ago
About two years ago I noticed one small isolated red "bump" on the head of my penis. At the time that I noticed this bump, I had been sexually inactive for a few months. This bump eventually went away with no real blistering, rupturing or scabbing. This was followed by a phase in which I noticed my entire penis would begin to shed, usually much more noticeable when I had an erection. I only occasionally noticed a bump similar to the first one I described and they all went away in the same manner. I have some reason to believe that I may have a skin condition because I have a dry flaky scalp that gets worse if I use a dandruff shampoo. Also, on my lips there is a very small, under the surface patch of what looks like little white bumps that is barely noticeable when I look closely in a mirror and there are small bumps that are above the surface of my skin on my penis on the underside of it only. These bumps are always present and never come or go, never burst or scab or anything like that. I've had a few different partners that I could have potentially gotten herpes from during the past two years but aside from the occasional shedding I haven't seen anything new develop until very recently.  With the research I had done up to that point I came to the conclusion that I probably wasn't dealing with herpes and with how busy I am and a general phobia of being diagnosed with herpes if that's what it was, I ignored it. However, recently after intercourse with my current girlfriend, I noticed three small places on my penis that almost looked like cuts and they were bleeding when I went to the bathroom afterwards. I was horrified because I'd had sex with her already many times and I feel very strongly for her so I didn't tell her about what I saw. They were small enough and healed fast enough that two days later they were completely gone with no scabbing or evidence they were there whatsoever. I also very recently noticed an unusual amount of red bumps on my buttocks and they don't look like the pictures I've seen on the internet when I look for herpes. They're ever so mildly uncomfortable, I wouldn't say painful. It does look like some type of breakout though. I should have gone to the doctor by now especially with these recent changes in conditions but I am in the military and my situation has me working far away from where I am stationed. The whole process of receiving medical care is a giant headache and will be for another month and a half until I go back to my home station. My question is this: do the symptoms I've described sound like herpes in any case you guys have ever seen or heard of? I realize I probably need to get a blood test and see a dermatologist at the very least but I can't spend a lot of money out of pocket right now to make up for the holes in the military's medical system. Any help in regards to my situation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your attention, looking forward to learning something from this.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
38 months ago
I am traveling internationally right now and the doors just closed and I'll have to answer just briefly but will come back to this.  This does not sound like herpes to me.  Have you had any antibody testing done to help sort this out?  Herpes is not always present - it comes and goes.  Has she been tested for herpes, do you know?  I'll get back to you with more!

Terri
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Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
38 months ago
OK, I'm back.  When you say that your penis would being to "shed", what does that mean to you and what does that look like?
I think if you were able to look at the lips of lots and lots of people, most everyone has those little white bumps or dots under the surface when the skin is stretched - that is very normal and not a cause of concern.  You might want to look up pearly papules on the internet to see if those bumps look similar to what you have on your penis.  If yes, those are completely normal.  Or they might be hair follicles under the surface of the skin. 
I would guess that 95% at least of the men that I see in my practice have bumps on their butt.  It's just one of those butt things.  Like little pimples but maybe without the white head? 
Until you can seek care at your home base, there is no way to know for sure if you have herpes, but nothing here really sounds like herpes to me.  The bleeding cuts are slightly concerning, but maybe not for herpes specifically - just wonder what that might be?  Was there adequate lubrication for sex?

Terri
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