Sexually Transmitted Diseases/sores/ bumps


QUESTION: hey doc,

My name is Michael I'm 21 years old and live in Bozeman, MT. So I am sexually active and had a couple of partners but this past week on Monday I believe, I had a bump on my pubic area, it then busted and became on open sore. Then 3 days later more showed up and they didn't start as bumps they are more open sores. I used of my friends fleshlight jack when I had the first bump that turned into a sore but then the next morning all of these other sores showed up. They are very irritating, they burn and kind of itch. what do you think they could be or where from? I have had sex in more than 2 weeks prior to this incident and they kind of showed up out of no where. could you please give me some advice.

I hope the pictures help

ANSWER: Hello Michael,
The symptoms you describe may be due to the skin virus herpes, or bacteria staph or strep that may cause folliculitis. The photographs do not show the areas clearly enough to say. Sharing of sex toys can spread such germs, as can having sex with several different people. Condoms can not well protect the pubic area, as they are designed for just the end of the penis.

Apply moist heat compresses followed by antibiotic ointment. That should help heal any bacterial causes of folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles). However any open ulcers or blisters (not easily visible) may be due to herpes, which requires different treatment. You may do more searches: for photos, and for medical information about these conditions.

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for the great response. So I put anti- fungal cream on the area and this seems to help. I took a picture that is hopefully better and what the area looks like now. What do you think it could be based on this New picture?

Hi Again, Michael,
The problem with trying to make diagnoses online, is that even with photos, there is considerable missing information. Antifungal cream, if effective, suggests that it is either getting rid of the skin fungus that is causing the skin condition, or that the skin condition is healing by itself and it the cream you are using is having no effect.

In any event, the skin is getting better! And that is the best outcome!

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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