[Question #5352] Advice, insight

23 months ago

Hello Drs,

 

Thank you for this service. Yet another question about a massage parlour handjob. While I have read many of your previous posts about the low risk nature of this event, the problem I have is that my symptoms seem to be related to this event. The massage happened in late July last year, and I started to experience symptoms 2 to 3 weeks after this. It was mostly tingling and itchiness in the genital area. By 4 weeks after the event, my scrotum was noticeably red, tingling and with a crawling feeling. This went on for months. In fact, I still have it now although it seems to be more localised on the left side of my scrotum, which continues to be red. I did get a panel of STD tests using letsgetchecked.com – which is a service where you submit blood and urine and then they test it.  All tests were negative. The herpes test is a urine test, which I understand is not very reliable.  I went to a sexual health clinic four weeks ago, and was given steroid creams. That seemed to work a bit, but now that the course is finished, I am back to the tingling and uncomfortable feeling, which is more pronounced on the left side of my scrotum. That started about a month ago. I’d appreciate any insights you might have. 

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
23 months ago
Welcome to our forum and thanks for your confidence in our service.  I will quibble with your 2nd sentence in which you refer to receipt of masturbation as "low risk".  In fact, receipt of masturbation is a virtually no risk event for STIs, including HIV.  Your tests appear to bear this out.  Further, the symptoms you describe, local itching and tingling are exactly the symptoms which persons tend to experience when they actively looking for symptoms of an infection.  Focusing on the point of contact tends to lead to awareness of normal skin sensations which we normally tend to overlook.  I suspect this is what is happening.  Alternatively, the redness and symptoms you describe could be due to a superficial fungal infection ("jock itch") which can cause these symptoms as well.  A topical steroid cream might reduce the itch but it will not address the underlying problem.  If you have not been scratching the itchy area (which could also cause redness) you may wish to try a topical antifungal cream for the problem- usually this is applied twice daily for 7-10 days.  

BTW, although there was and is no need for testing related to receipt of masturbation you are correct that urine tests for HSV are notoriously unreliable.  

I hope that these comments are helpful.  Please don't worry.  EWH
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