I Acquired Herpes Thirty Years Ago

Dear Dr. Tom:

Hi. I am a 58 year old male who acquired Herpes thirty years ago. For the most part, I experience frequent attacks on my penis, upper buttocks, both thighs, with a high frequency. Each area seems to have five to eight attacks per year, with little correlation between them.

Four months ago, I experienced a large outbreak on my right ankle, an attack which lasted for three times the normal period and which never did clear up completely . I have a square inch discoloration where it occurred. At the same time I experienced a lot of neuralgia, with my right side from the waist down feeling “tingly” for weeks. Two weeks ago, this same thing occurred, although it appeared four inches away from the prior site, (right ankle). Is this new appearance consistent with your normal experience with herpes.



Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear Michael:

HSV-1 and HSV-2 are viruses known to behave peculiarly and at times inconsistently with what has been recorded about them. The dictionary tells us that the word comes from the Greek, meaning, “to creep”, and so it does. It is possible that the new affected area is served by the same nerve root ganglion that connect the other areas. Such activity would be expected from herpes, but if the occurrence is disturbing you might wish to consult a dermatologist. Failure to clear up completely might suggest presence of another cause.


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