Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Herpes Paranoia



I am a 27 y/o male who practice MSM. No known chronic illnesses or other co-morbidities. Not on any current medication. About 3 days ago I noticed 2 tender ulcers on the base of the glans penis. It was erythematus with a peripheral halo and what appears to be a central clearing with a white pigmentation. The tenderness was not severe however it was mildly noticeable upon showering. There was no associated discharge from the penis. There is right groin lymph node enlargement though that was tender but however is not anymore but the size is still greater than 1cm and palpable. However the node is not noticeable on general inspection. There is a lesion on the upper right thigh that started off as a bump but with a "head" but was accidentally scratched due to minor pruritis (not constant or irritating). However the immediate area around the bump has become raised with some slight erythema. Is this a possible herpes flare up, I don't know that I have herpes. Or some over infection: maybe fungal.

Hi Jerry,

First of all, it sounds like you've been doing a lot of health research, but that shouldn't lead you to self-diagnosis because that's where problems start to occur. While you do have inflammation surrounding your bumps, I wouldn't peg them any more than (bottom picture: an ingrown hair) and (top picture: an abrasion). Do you masturbate or practice unprotected intercourse without using any lubrication? I have this conversation ALL the time with my clients who wonder why the glans, corona, or shaft of their penis looks like its been beaten to death after a healthy self or partnered sexual romp and then come to me asking if its some sort of disease. I'm like no, you did it to yourself! Your penis has some of the most delicate skin located on your body, along with your armpits, and yet people abuse these areas and tend not to cleanse them as often as they should.

Your "bumps" are not herpes as HSV lesions are open wounds that are "crusty" in appearance, with discharge (leakage) and are much larger in appearance than what you have. Plus they stay around a lot longer than 3 days. They stay for like 3 weeks! Also, I have no idea why people tend to think lymph node enlargement tends to show signs of infection as people can be walking around with active HIV infection and not show any symptoms at all. So bottom line, if you've been practicing unsafe sex for longer than 3 weeks and have never been tested-here's your opportunity. Let me know how things go!

Best wishes,


Sexually Transmitted Diseases

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


John Brice


Educated and certified in STI information, HIV and AIDS, and trained in comprehensive sex education for teens and young adults. Providing counseling in sexuality, sexual interests, and sexual orientations, pregnancy prevention, safer sex initiatives, and teaching health education seminars to adults ages 18-65 for the past 3 years. Serve underserved clients in homeless shelters, workplace readiness programs, and detention centers. Three term AmeriCorps domestic service volunteer and Peace Corps nominee for Health Service to Lesotho and Rwanda. Providing services to the GLBTQIA populations of which I am a member.


3 years as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (Advanced) for 3 years and comprehensive sex educator for 3 years and parenting educator for 3 years. *North Carolina State Certified Emergency Medical Technician, #P083512 *Certified Health Education Specialist, #22589

*American Public Health Association *National Commission on Health Education Credentialing

American Public Health Association, Student Assembly, Quarterly Newsletter 2012-2014

*Doctor of Education (candidate), K-12 Teacher Leadership; Capella University *Master of Public Health, Social and Behavioral Sciences; Capella University *Master of Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Concordia University-Portland *Bachelor of Arts, Psychology and English; East Carolina University

Awards and Honors
Graduated with Distinction from Capella University AllExperts, Top Experts of 2014 (One and Multiple Categories)

Past/Present Clients
*Over 180 clients, lasting 30 sessions, in 5 locations during Florida service. *Over 150 clients, lasting 18 sessions, in 2 locations during South Carolina service.

©2016 All rights reserved.