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Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Dry skin around base of penis after cellulitis


Penis 1
Penis 1  

Penis 2
Penis 2  
Age: 22
City/Country: Boston, USA

On the December 27th, I had intercourse with my girlfriend. Few days later, I found out she had cheated on me once about a month before, unprotected vaginal sex.

Fast forward to January 16th, I noticed a pimple like thing on the shaft of my penis, near the base. It had a black dot in the middle, so I figured it was an ingrown hair. It was there for at least a week before (I've also had this exact bump several times in the past), but that night I poked at it a little. It fell off, and bled a tiny bit (over the next few days, the hair grew out fully). I put some antibiotic ointment on the area right after I had poked at it. Within 3-4 hours, I woke up with a pretty bad fever and the chills. My penis, primarily the area where the ingrown hair was, had swollen up TREMENDOUSLY, and it hurt.

Doctor said definitely not an STD, and diagnosed cellulitis. Prescribed me amoxicillin. Within 48 hours, the swelling had died down almost completely, except where the ingrown hair was is still a little swollen/firm (looks like a cyst in that area kind of). Pain is basically gone at this point. The skin also appears to be healing. Over the last few days, I've noticed some weird skin on my penis, mostly at the base (a lot of it around where the ingrown hair was). Also, I see similar skin on other parts of my shaft (left and right side). They don't hurt, no fluid in them. They are flat, just look like areas of skin with a white outline. Very flat white spots, looks like dry skin. When I shower, the water seems to make it go away temporarily, but they return shortly after.

Based on my own research, it doesn't look like herpes, but the timing of all this has scared me.

Thank you Doctor.

Hello Tom,
Yes, it did appear that you had cellulitis. I would have used a stronger antibiotic, such as Augmentin, rather than just plain amoxicillin! Thankfully, it did respond and is improving. I agree that it did not look like an STD. There is no evidence of herpes. The whitish areas look like something that was previously inflamed and swollen, and is now healing.

Good luck!

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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

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