Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Strange bumps and redness on glans




I am an agressive masturbator and just last month tore my foreskin from using my unclean fleshjack and cockring (which tightened my skin). I ended up cleaning the fleshjack afterwards. After attempting to masturbate again after a couple days, my cut got deeper. I used the cock ring as well and developed a swelled up area at the base by my pubic area. I decided to not play around for another week. My lymph node on the right side of my pubic area was enlarged like a golf ball. I used a and d lotion (for diaper rash) on my cut and it went away after a few days. My lymph node has slightly decreased  in size but I still have redness and swollen skin at top of foreskin/base of glans. I slept over at my friend's place the other night on the floor and  woke up feeling very itchy in my pubic area. We did not engage in any sex. I went to take a shower and found flat reddish dots right above the swollen skin. They are not painful or itchy, just my pubic area is. I had unprotected sex with a friend a few months ago- could this be the physical early signs of HPV or just some bacterial infection? How should I treat this?

Hello Aaron,
Tough to say if you DON'T have an STD without tests, however the bump that caused the swollen lymph node may be due to the skin germ, Staph aureus, or it's more problematic "cousin" MRSA (methicillin resistent Staph aureus).  The flatish bump on the head of your penis may be a routine rash or something such as scabies. A blood test for syphilis is also necessary to rule out that infection, since it may take as long as 100 days following exposure and infection for the test to become positive.

It requires a visit by a health care provider who is well familiar with skin conditions and STDs involving the penis.  

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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