[Question #5411] Intermittent Dryness and Sensation of Inflammation

22 months ago
Greetings, 

I am a  32 year old straight male. I received unprotected oral sex by a straight female 23 days ago. Less than 24 hours after that experience the tip of my penis (the head), started to feel dry and also felt (though didn't visibly show) inflamed. These issues go away and then reoccur. I have not seen any blisters or anything of that nature, and have looked when the symptoms were present. 

Therefore, my questions are as follows:

1.) Does this sound like an STI of any sort? If yes, which one(s)?

2.) If it does not sound like an STI, could it be some sort of bacteria or yeast infection that has been passed over to me? If yes, which one (s)?

3.) How does one mitigate an issue like this? Would it make sense to purchase a cream (ie: hydrocortisone cream) and apply it and see if it resolves the issue? Any other solutions come to mind?

Thank you
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
22 months ago
Welcome to our Forum.  I'll try to help.  The exposure you describe was low risk for most STIs.  STIs which do occur from time to time following receipt of oral sex include several types of urethritis (gonorrhea or non-gonococcal urethritis) which present with symptoms of burning on urination or as a penile discharge.  Rarely persons may acquire herpes from receipt of oral sex  if they do not already have HSV-1, the virus that causes cold sores.  The symptoms you are experiencing however are not those of any typical STI.  Further, in general, when STIs cause symptoms they tend to appear and either stay or worsen. STIs do not cause symptoms which come and go.  In answer to your specific questions:
1.) Does this sound like an STI of any sort? If yes, which one(s)?
No, see above.

2.) If it does not sound like an STI, could it be some sort of bacteria or yeast infection that has been passed over to me? If yes, which one (s)?
Not really.  Bacterial infections typically cause redness and/or tenderness.  Yeast infections can cause a redish, scaling rash.  Neither of these sorts of infections is typically acquired from receipt of oral sex.

3.) How does one mitigate an issue like this? Would it make sense to purchase a cream (ie: hydrocortisone cream) and apply it and see if it resolves the issue? Any other solutions come to mind.
One possibility is that following the encounter you describe, you may be worried about the result and, as a result, are paying closer attention to your genital area than you might otherwise.  When persons do this, they tend to become aware of normal skin sensations, describing them most often as "tingling" or "itching".  Is this a possibility.

Other approaches.  Per your description there is no visible rash or lesion.  If this is the case, there is little to be gained from seeing a dermatologist.  OTOH, if there is a visible abnormality, you may want to see a dermatologist- there is a VERY long list of non-STI problems which may occur at genital locations.  If there is nothing visible, a brief trial of topical hydrocortisone may be helpful, applying it twice a day for no longer than a week (there should be improvement within a day or two of starting this, if this does not occur, I would stop the HC).  

I hope these comments are helpful.  Bottom line, nothing you describe suggests an STI.  EWH

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22 months ago
Thank you Dr. Hook for your prompt and thorough response.  I will try the topical hydrocortisone to address the dryness.