You are here:

Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Sore on penis... looked like bite and turned worse... herpes?


picture 1
picture 1  

picture 2
picture 2  

I found this site through some research and feel like it is exactly what I have been looking for.  I am currently very concerned.

I have a sore on my penis towards the base that I cannot figure out if it is herpes or not.  

4 years ago found out I had genital warts.  2+ years ago warts are completely gone and have never come back.  I never had sex again until exactly 9 weeks ago.  we used protection and I am 100% sure she did not have herpes.  

around 2 weeks ago I notice a red looking bug bite on my penis (just a small pinkish bump).  It looked no different than any other bite/bump on my body I have had growing up and was not too concerned.  It was hardly noticeable especially when erect.  However after about a week I decided to use some Neosporin after reading skin ointment may help.  From that day on it progressively got worse and I continued using for four days straight.  After about 24 hours of discontinued use I feel like it has got better already though that may be entirely in my mind.  What was a bump turned more into a sore after I started using the Neosporin and as mentioned now looks *much* worse though I do see improvement after just leaving it alone for a day.  I now fear this is herpes but have a hard time believing this due to the timeline. Please help!  Very worried.  

Derek in Arlington

Note about picture...  prior to my self treatment everything was just slightly pink.  after treatment the sore in the middle appeared and the pink outer circle is now a bit darker.

Hello Derek,
Sometimes it is easier to say what something ISN'T, than what it IS.  It is NOT herpes. It is NOT a wart or from HPV. It looks like an acute skin problem UNRELATED to your having a sexually transmitted infection.  Neosporin cream sometimes generates an allergic type reaction because of its active ingredient, neosporin. Dermatologists always discourage the use of this particular topical antibiotic cream/ointment; use any product that does NOT have that ingredient! Note, the "triple antibiotic" creams usually use neosporin as one of the three.

Good luck!

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Mark P. Behar


Almost any question or concern about gay men's health issues, sexually transmitted infections, abnormal Pap smears, anal cytology (anal "Pap smears"), etc. There is no such thing as “d/d free” or “clean” (free of infection), so why do so many of us deceive ourselves into thinking that some people are indeed totally free from a potentially infectious disease, like HIV, herpes, hepatitis, syphilis, chlamydia, warts, gonorrhea, etc., just because they say so? Clinical laboratory tests are not perfect, and having a “negative” or “nonreactive” test does not mean that a person is free from infection. Perhaps at the moment the test was taken, the person was uninfected; or, perhaps, the test wasn’t sensitive enough to detect presence of the infection. There is really no way that anyone can determine that they are truly “disease free,” and there are over a hundred of infectious conditions that can be spread without your knowing anything. Rather than trying to “pre-screen” or “serosort” a potential sex-mate with deceptive questions that are impossible to know by today’s technologies, a wiser option may be to consider everyone infected with something, and either use appropriate protective measures (“safer sex”), or accept the responsibility and consequences of possibly “catching” something from someone who’s hotter than expected (pun intended!). There is much research that supports the contention that an HIV positive person reliably taking HIV medications, and having an undetectable viral load, presents a lower risk for transmission of HIV than people who may think or say they are HIV negative, but are not. Food for thought!


Family Practice PA since 1981; Volunteer Clinician for Brady East STD (BESTD) Clinic, Milwaukee, since 1977; answered STD questions submitted to their web site. Professionally lectured at national and regional Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner conferences, and at national gay & lesbian health conferences on topics including HIV/AIDS, herpes, hepatitis, STDs, human papilloma virus (the cause of venereal warts), abnormal Pap smears, gay and lesbian health issues, among others.

Co-Founder, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Gay Physician Assistant Caucus of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, Inc.; American Academy of Physician Assistants; Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants; National Co-Chair (2012-16), National Association of Black and White Men Together: A Gay, Multiracial Organization for All People (NABWMT)

Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAPA) Q Visions, Quarterly Newsletter of the NABWMT

Bachelor's of Arts, 1972 (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI) Graduate Credits Experimental Psychology, 1972-75 (Tulane University, New Orleans, LA) Physician Assistant, Bachelor's of Science, 1981 (George Washington University, Washington, DC); Masters in Physician Assistant Studies, 2000 (University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE)

Awards and Honors
Colposcopy Recognition Award (CRA), the American Association of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology; Distinguished Fellow, Clinical Preceptor, American Academy of Physician Assistants; Fellow, Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants

Past/Present Clients
Brady East STD Clinic, Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Health Services, Inc. (Martin Luther King Heritage Health Center), Dept. of Family Medicine and Early Intervention Program for HIV Infected Persons

©2017 All rights reserved.