[Question #1254] Herpes or something else?

49 months ago
About 4 weeks ago, I found a single tiny (1 mm) blister on the underside of the shaft, precisely on my circumcision scar offset to the side by maybe a quarter inch. I stupidly popped it, and the resulting fluid was pus; white and thick. The resulting lesion was a was only visible when I stretched the skin out, and otherwise, all I saw was a slightly pink area. I took a shower, patted the area dry, and went about my day. A little after noon, I looked again and the area was less red, and there was no more "shine/glimmer/wetness" to it, even with the skin stretched. The next morning, the redness was basically a faint pink completely gone, and by noon, all that was left was a flesh coloured bump that remains there to this day (month after initial blister). (Note that I have many fleshy bumps/glands/textured rough skin in the same area. I had these areas examined by a dermatologist a few years back, who said they all "might be milia, but definitely not HPV". He didn't sound certain exactly what they were, but didn't seem concerned that a pathogen was involved.) I've also had several cases of folliculitis in my pubic hair, which I don't believe are herpes but perhaps is evidence of staph or strep?

I've been monogamous with the same partner for nearly 2 years now, and though we've had other reproductive health issues, this is the first where herpes feels likely, which has been causing me a lot of (hopefully unnecessary) anxiety. 

Thank you!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
49 months ago
I can't promise you this isn't herpes but this certainly doesn't sound like herpes to me.
Herpes normally presents as a water blister, not a pus filled something.  It also normally forms an ulcer in the skin that lasts longer than what you are describing here.  This resolved way too fast for a typical herpes outbreak.  Also I don't think herpes would remain as a flesh colored bump - it would simply resolve. 
The fact that you have had folliculitis suggests that this may be more of the same kind of thing, but on the shaft of the penis...
Have you had any herpes testing done?  You've not had any other recent sexual partners that are causing you to be concerned about genital herpes?

Terri
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49 months ago
Nope no other partners, the only concern comes from finding this lesion and the anxiety and fixation that came with it. I haven't had herpes testing (have tested neg for other things such as Chlamydia, ghon, hep), however I don't know if I'd be able to handle the anxiety of testing for herpes without obvious signs of the disease, and so I don't think I'll have any blood work done; the psychological trade off doesn't seem worth it. If this or any herpes-like lesions appear again in the future, I'll undoubtedly bite the bullet and get myself tested.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
49 months ago
I would say if you get another herpes - type lesion in the future, you should get it swab tested right away.  That is more helpful than the blood test, if we can get a swab from a lesion.  Those results only take a couple of days to come back, you can stand that!

Terri
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