Worried about the Length of the Rash

Dear Dr. Tom:

I have a simple question for you regarding Herpes. I have not been sexually active for quite some time (about 4-5 months) and when I was, it was always with a girlfriend or someone who I was in a relationship with (I am not in the habit of sleeping around). Some time in mid-April to late april, I noticed what appeared to be bumps, almost like pimples, the base of my penis and on the left side of my penis. The bumps also appear to be where the pubic hair grows though the hair shaft. I have been doing some research on Herpes and I have read all the symptoms and I must say that I really don’t fit any of them. I have not had the feeling of being sick, muscle aches, burning, blisters popping, cold sores, pain or anything of that matter. There is some itching associated but nothing out of the norm.

What is beginning to worry me is the length of the "rash". Since I first noticed it, it hasn’t gone away or become dramatically worse. All the info I read on the disease states that it comes in stages that lasts up until three weeks. I am way beyond the three week mark.

I have contacted all my past partners, asked if they have been tested and was fortunate to hear that they were with the results being negative for anything. I myself am getting tested and I would like to calm my nerves until my doctor appt. Are there any other sure tell signs that signal a herpes outbreak? Could it be poison ivy, jock itch, or something similar? Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you. JS

Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear JS,

A male yeast infection known as balanitis affects primarily the glans of the penis, but in a small number of situations, it infects the shaft and also the scrotum. Jockstrap itch seems a possible candidate also. Consult a dermatologist who will have the skills to recognize the condition and the facilities to perform culture diagnosis and help to relieve your discomfort and anxiety.


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