Hi - I hope someone is able to read this sooner rather than later to help assuage my frayed nerves. On December 31st, I went on a hike with some friends in my local mountains (I live in LA County, CA) and was out for about five hours. During that time, I had to pee something fierce; I dropped my pants and squatted just off the trail so I was covered by the foliage, but I squatted too low and definitely touched a plant - I have no idea what type of plant it was (I just remember thinking, "oh crap").
Then, on January 1st, I went horseback riding and noticed my vagina was itchy. Nothing too uncomfortable but certainly novel as I've never had any issues down there. That evening, I did a self-exam and noticed my left labia was a little swollen and quite red. I went to sleep after bathing and woke once in the night due to the intense itching.
On January 2nd, the redness had substantially increased and I was distinctly more uncomfortable. I again went horseback riding and it was much less enjoyable due to the severe itching. That evening, during another shower, I inspected the area and decided a professional should look at it. I awoke twice last night due to the itching.
This morning, January 3rd, I went to my local Women's Care Clinic and was checked by an incredibly kind Nurse Practitioner. I relayed these events to her and, after she initially surveyed the infected area and could see no open lesions, she surmised it was "dermatitis". However, she ordered a blood test and took two cultures, and then wrote me a prescription for Acyclovir (rather than the Prednisone as she initially wanted to do) - I'm to take 3 pills a day for 10 days: this change of prescriptions has me a very nervous.
I have not had a sexual partner (not even hand-holding) since December of 2011 and had my last exam (with a blood test and culture test - both negative for STDs) in April of 2012.
As much as I am hoping this is just a really inconvenient case of poison oak, I'm absolutely TERRIFIED it's herpes. I'm so incredibly uncomfortable; it doesn't hurt when I pee, but my skin is so sensitive I cannot wear underwear and cannot even consider jeans. Mostly, the affected area is very swollen and quite red - and it's just (as of the past 8 hours) started emitting a foul odor.
Herpes is a life-long issue and, while it'll suck, I'd much rather know if I have it so I can forewarn any potential future partners - but is there anything I can do in the here-and-now (as I anxiously await my test results) to mitigate both my anxiety and my discomfort? The Nurse prescribed me Benedryl in addition to the Acyclovir, but that's only made me sleepy at work.... Would asprin or advil help? Should I do a cold or hot compress? Will soaking in warm water and epsom salts take away the itching? Will cortozon exacerbate the infection?
Any insights or help anyone can offer will be greatly appreciated. The internet is extremely dangerous for people like me - I'm borrowing trouble before I have a firm answer of what the issue is! Ugh.
Anyway - happy New Year to whoever reads this. And thanks in advance for any insights.
I'd certainly try the soaking in epsom salts or colloidal oatmeal ( aveeno bath ). both are soothing to irritated and itching skin regardless of the cause. same if you somehow got a bug bite or something while squatting.
yes, topical steroids would make herpes worse if this is herpes going on.
advil is fine too - so is aspirin for pain.
hopefully one of those swabs they took was for yeast and bacterial infections vaginally too.
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