[Question #346] Unprotected Oral and Ethyl Alcohol
37 months ago
5 mins later I urinated and noticed hand sanitizer in the restroom. Not sure the exact version, it was clear gel and not a foaming type. I rubbed a moderate amount over the head and shaft of my penis. 30 mins later at home I washed with soap and water and applied a generous amount of hand sanitizer (70% Ethyl Alcohol gel) to the head and shaft as well as dropping some inside the opening of my urethra. Not immediately, but Tues I experienced burning during urination that I attributed to irritation from the alcohol; it ended by Wed.
Since, I have experienced pain/discomfort in my lower abdomen and lower sides. Those have continued and were intermittent, but seem more constant on Mon the 14th. Starting Sat/Sun discomfort around the tailbone and lower back have been occurring.
Occasional sore throat/fatigue; have not noticed other outward symptoms. No sores on the genitals, discharge or pain during urination; although urinating a lot. I did notice on Saturday a rash on both buttocks; seems to be oriented around follicles, so I believe it is folliculitis (perfect timing).
- Any of these "symptoms" make you suspicious of a STI? HSV is on my mind, could symptoms occur without sores?
- Would the ethyl alcohol have made me more susceptible to contracting a STI? Particularly HSV and HIV (which is not accepted as possible when a male receives oral typically)
Edward W. Hook M.D.
37 months ago
Welcome to the Forum. Your story makes me wince. Typical hand sanitizers tend to contain alcohol and application of alcohol to the surface of delicate skin (like your penis) can burn or be irritating. The major risk from receipt of oral sex is acquisition of gonorrhea or non-gonococcal urethritis, each of which most often would be associated with penile discharge or perhaps herpes if she has HSV-1 (the virus which causes cold sores) if you do not already have this virus (if you already get cold sores or have HSV-1 there is little or no risk for getting genital herpes from receipt of oral sex). Your symptoms however are not suggestive of any of these problems. As I explained above, if you had gonorrhea or NGU you would most likely have a penile discharge or burning on urination while if you had herpes I would expect you to see visible penile lesions and for your discomfort to be on your penis, not your buttocks or sides. I agree that the rash on your buttocks could be folliculitis.
As for the effects of the alcohol, if used BEFORE exposure, one might expect the drying effect to may you more vulnerable to infection (herpes in particular "likes" to entire through abrasions and other defects on the skin) but I would not think it would be a problem in terms of herpes risk when applied after receipt of oral sex.
Bottom line, I would not worry about the risk of herpes form this exposure. EWH