[Question #3933] HPV

34 months ago
Hello, a little over 2 years ago I had a high risk sexual encounter. I was able to eliminate all standard STD's through testing. About 2 months after the exposure, I had a rash on both legs from the mid calf down to the heel and on the top and sides of both feet. The rash was large red patches. Biopsy came back with a viral non specific rash. Since that time, this rash has reoccurred two additional times. 

About a year after the initial exposure, I got a rash all over the penis (small red bumps that had a black scab type top). I should mention this rash occurred about 18 hours after sex with my current and long time partner in which I did not wash after sex and slept the night. Still, this is the first and only time I have had a rash like this. The rash cleared in about 3 days. 

Lastly, under the same circumstances (sex with my current partner where I did not wash afterwards) I got a rash on both legs in the groin area. This rash was small red bumps like pimples that were pop-able, and they took about 5 weeks to completely heal and go away. 

My question is if any of these rashes could be associated with HPV, as I would like to close the book on any of these being due to my sexual encounter so I can move on knowing I am in no danger to my current and long time partner or our 18 month old daughter. My pcp is admittedly out of answers for these rashes. I should not I had no previous rash history prior to the sexual encounter slightly over two years ago. Any insight is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
34 months ago
Welcome back. I'm sorry to see your sexual exposure and concerns from two years ago still are causing concern.

Part of my reply in one our discussions at that time was "...you are making the mistake of assuming that sequential events must be causal. ...there is no reason at all to assume that every new symptom you experience is somehow related to a sexual exposure a few weeks earlier." I still stand by that statement. You really needn't worry:  your current problem has nothing to do with that sexual event. 

The large majority (90+%) of genital skin rashes and other problems are not due to STDs. (There is a book on my shelf titled "Genital Dermatology Atlas". As that name implies, it is full of photos of genital skin problems. The book is 300 pages long. STDs are covered in 15 pages.)

Perhaps most important to you, HPV does not cause genital rash. Never. and certainly not in the groin area. There are no STDs that cause in the groin and upper thighs. This sounds like any of several bacterial or fungal infections that are common in this part of the body. Whatever you have is not due to HPV or any other STD, and is unrelated to the sexual exposure you are concerned about. There is no danger of transmission of anything to your daughter or other household members.

I am confident a dermatologist will be able to diagnose your problem quite easily. Ask your PCP for referral to a dermatologist.

I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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34 months ago
Thank you Dr. I will trust that these recurring leg rashes and one off groin and penis rashes are not being caused by HPV. Thank you for your reassurance. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
34 months ago
Thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to have helped.---