[Question #1493] One small red pimple/sore on penis

47 months ago
Last week after having prolonged sex with my girlfriend (and not taking a shower afterwards), I woke up the next morning with a small red "pimple" half way up my penis shaft.  I only had this one small pimple that seemed like an ingrown hair, and there were no other red bumps or spots anywhere in my genital region. I tried popping it and some white puss came out (it hurt to squeeze).    The next morning, the pimple refilled closer to the size of a boil with more puss - I did not see an ingrown hair.  I popped it again and more white puss came out along with blood.  The next day this turned into more of a sore without puss or blood.  The next day it looked more like a white/yellow crater.  After two more days, it scabbed up and it appears to have healed now (a week later).  I'm waiting on a full STD screening, but am worried that this is herpes.  I should mention that I did a full STD screening back in September, and ALL tests came back negative.  My question: does this sound like herpes at all?  Obviously, I am freaking out... but hoping that this was just a clogged pore or ingrown hair after sweaty sex (and not showering afterwards).  I have only had 1 monogamous partner the last 6 months, but do have a history of nearly 50 partners before this.  I also regularly shave the shaft of my penis with a razor (shaving in opposite direction of hair, which I know can cause ingrown hairs).  Thank you in advance.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
47 months ago
Do you know for certain that you had herpes testing done in September?  Not all STD screens include herpes testing, so just asking. 
It's hard to say if this sounds like herpes or not.  Normally herpes lesions don't have pus in them but that fact that it made an ulcer and then scabbed does sound worrisome to me.  Do you know if your current partner has ever been tested?  So to be clear, no medical professional looked at this or swab tested it when it was present?  Did you get an IgG test done for herpes?  Remember that IgM is useless and should be ignored.

Terri
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47 months ago
Hi Terri,

Thanks so much for your reply.  Yes, I had the IgG test done back in September.  No, I did not have a swab done a few months back because I did not have any lesions - just going in for my normal STD testing (as I previously was very sexually active).  My partner was also tested back in early November (normal gyno checkup) and her results were also negative (full std panel with IgG as well). 

I did not get a swab done a couple days ago either, as the medical professional felt that it was unnecessary.  He felt that it was a very standard pimple due to a clogged pore or ingrown hair.  The fact that I shaved my penis shaft beforehand, engaged in long sweaty sex, and didn't shower afterwards probably led to this one pimple.

I should also mention that I inadvertently shaved the pimple a couple days later, so perhaps this led to a scab and sore.  Regardless, this medical professional also felt that the one single pimple along with the white pus probably did not indicate herpes.  I first noticed the pimple back on 12/5, scab on 12/8, went to doctor on 12/10, and now it's all cleared up.  Just that one single pimple and nothing else.

I had an ingrown hair incident like this about 7 years ago, but that was in my groin area underneath pubic hair.  Also one single pimple/hair.  That also cratered up into a sore, but it was just an ingrown hair infection.  I'm hoping that this is the same.  I get the results of the full STD panel on Wednesday, so I'm still pretty darn nervous...
47 months ago
Just to be clear of the chronology...

   12/4: shaved penis shaft and had long sweaty sex with girlfriend (and didn't shower afterward)
  12/5: noticed red pimple (no whitehead) on penis shaft in the morning, and popped pimple (some pus) - only 2 mm in diameter
  12/6: re-popped pimple on penis shaft (more white pus and blood)... there was never any blister or clear fluid
  12/7: inadvertently shaved pimple, which was starting to crust
   12/8: noticed pimple turned into open sore/yellow crater
    12/9: sore turned into scab
   12/10: went to medical professional
    12/12: as of today, it is all cleared up
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
47 months ago
So with this further information you provided, it sounds far less like it could be herpes.  If both you and your partner test negative for HSV 2 by IgG, then I don't see how this COULD be herpes.  This is particularly true if neither you nor she has had other partners, right?  So if you both tested negative for HSV 2, and you both waited long enough from contact with other people to get an accurate test, then there is only a tiny chance this could be herpes (missed by the test).  But from your description now, I don't believe this lesion was a herpes lesion.

Terri
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