Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Irritated penile shaft after boils

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Question
Skin irritation
Skin irritation  

Skin irritation
Skin irritation  
Hello. A few days ago I developed two boils. One on my inner thigh and one on my scrotum. I popped the boils and, afterward read that was bad advice. They seem to be healing but I developed a skin irritation that I am sending you an image of yesterday. I have had irritated and inflamed hair follicles before. They were confirmed by a doctor and you can see the scar from an older one in the photo. The skin irritations sting when soap is applied but is otherwise painless. I am worried because the irritation in the first photo had previously appeared on my skin for 3-4 days a few weeks ago. I have actually never had sex before. I do get cold sores and am worried that I have spread the virus to my genitals. I also feel it may be possible that these irritations are the result of bacteria from my popped boils getting into the hair follicle. I recently lost my job so I need to wait for my health insurance sign up to kick in before I see a doctor otherwise I would. What does this look like to you?

Answer
Hi Steve,
I think the last part of your question is correct. The bumps & boils are from bacteria causing infection of the hair follicles. Moist heat followed by antibiotic cream/ointment should help them resolve. Avoid squeezing or pressing them, as the pressure will push the germs and pus along the path of least resistance, into the skin as well as to the outside. That makes things worse.  It isn't herpes, even though you have had cold sores before. Unless you have a severe disruption of your body's immune system, it is usually not possible to auto-innoculate herpes from your lip to your penis (or elsewhere).  

Good luck!
mark

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Mark P. Behar

Expertise

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!

Experience

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.

Organizations
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)

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

Education/Credentials
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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