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jellyfish, STD, or what?
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jellyfish, STD, or what?

Hi,
Last weekend I was at the beach in northern italy. the water in this area is supposedly very clean because its part of a marine reserve. i was in the water basically on and off all day for 3 days with the same swimsuit (when i wasnt in the water i was out in the sun; i also went kyaking for the first time but that doesnt really seem relevant). i also was wearing my swimsuit around for most days and nights and even showered and slept in it once (great hygene, i know). on saturday (about 5 days ago) i was stung by a jellyfish on my forearm and had a fairly bad reaction (it puffed up for a long time and i still have a very obvious red mark). i was also having protected sex with a girl that i did not know very well, and had recently trimmed my pubic hair very short.  

on saturday evening i noticed that i had developed a rash consisting of small red dots on basically the whole area covered by my pubic hair. three of the dots had already turned into pimple-like blisters (with white heads)- two of these were right under the shaft of my penis where the hair starts and the other was about 3 inches further up. after freaking out for about 2 days i went to the doctor, who brought to my attention that i also had red marks (slightly larger, less itchy, and less red) on my butt. the rash has spread a bit and i now have a few bumps (some with white heads) on my abdomen almost all the way up to my chest. the doctor prescribed some kind of cream (i think its like cortizone but its in german so im not really sure), that i have been using for about a day and a half now. so far it seems to have gotten rid of the 3 blistery bumps near my penis but hasnt done much else.

im pretty much freaking out at this point. from looking on the internet, bastion of conventional wisdom, ive basically convinced myself that i have herpes, even though the girl that i was sleeping with had never had any similar symptoms. i also read something about "seabather's eruption" caused by jellyfish larvae (there were tons of jellyfish in the area and most of my friends were stung at least once).

what do you think? STD? jellyfish attack? jellyfish with STDs? something else?

thank you so much!!!
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242489_tn?1210500813
I vote for jellyfish (didn't the doctor say anything?)  Because your rash is under the bathing suit, it sounds like seabather's eruption (known in southern US as "sea lice", although lice have nothing to do with it--it's from jellyfish larvae.)  Treatment consists of time plus steroid creams for symptomatic relief.  Your rash sounds nothing like herpes.  Don't be surprised if it hangs around and annoys you for a while.  The fact that you slept in your suit probably made no difference.

Have a pleasant summer.

Dr. Rockoff
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