Herpes Expert Forum
Is this herpes
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Welcome to the Herpes forum. This forum is for questions and support pertaining to herpes simplex virus infections (HSV-1 and 2) and herpes zoster (shingles) and the virus that causes it, varicella zoster virus. Questions about genital herpes are welcome both here and on the STD Forum.

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Is this herpes

Madam,
I want to ask you some questions and your thoughts.
Nov 9, I had a sexual exposure to a CSW.  No symptoms of fever or ulcers, nothing at all.
I ride my bike a whole lot, probably 15-20 hours per week and sometimes the pubic area thights would get sore or raw
Dec 11, I developed scabs on my penis, never saw blisters  The scabs were smaller than 0.5 mm  at the base of my shaft, where the pubic hair beging.  If I would not have been looking at my genitals so closely, it is very likely I would have not noticed them.  I visited Planned Parenthood and the nurse told me they dont look herpetic. I thought I developed these ulcers because the bicycle pants rubbed against my skin (I felt a pinch on the spot while riding).  There was a raw area near by the scabs but did not scab. You can see there was some minimal moisture coat over it (like sweat on the palms of your hands and you can see the sweat against the light).  all this went away 4-5 days after the scabs appeared
Jan 8, I developed scabs on my penis again around the same area than before.  I was at my primary care Dr. for a check up at the same time and I showed him the scabs.  He said they did not look herpetic.  The scabs where smaller 0.5mm.  I felt that same uncomfort from the cycling pants and this developed right after that.  Scabs dissaparead 4-5 days after
Jan 26, I developed scabs again but this time they were noticable.  There were no blisters.  I rode my bicycle for 6 hours the day before and my shorts rubbed against my pelvic area as well and produced scabs on my right and left side of my pelvis, on a straight pattern, and on my penis.  The scabs on my penis were noticeable, large, small and numerous 20-30 and went from left to right covering an area of 2 centimeters. My penis is flaky right now.
So basically, in a matter of a month 3 episodes. Does herpes behaves this way or is this trauma due to bicycling?
It is 12 weeks post exposure, could i get tested now , are the results foolproof?
55646_tn?1263664409
Wow, interesting situation.

I always worry about scabs on the penis.  Period.  but your definition of scabs on the penis and yours and the health care providers that you saw may be different.  You would think it was pretty clear, but it isn't always.  Did anyone swab these scabs for herpes?  Was any testing done of this area?

Over a month is a very long time to incubate herpes.  Though it is possible to miss a first infection, it seems like you might have been paying attention, right?  

In order to get the most accurate testing possible, you could either  a) get the scabs swabbed if they come up again and/or b) get an antibody test done 4 months from the encounter.  

This may not be herpes, but if you were my patient, given your exposure, I would try to be certain with testing.

Terri
12 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Terri,
No the scabs were not swabed.  I thought that swabing scabs did not give you enough "stuff" for an accurate test.  I thought for herpes you wanted to swab the vesicles, which in these cases never appeared.
I was paying very close attention after the encounter, even with a magnifying glass, and did not notice anything strange.  
So if my exposure was Nov 9, when do you recommend I do a test?
I am sort of thrown off because in all of those instances I never felt any tingling, pains, fever, flu like symptoms, etc that would lead me to think that an episode was about to happen. I also been checking myself very ofen, many times during the day in daily basis, and never seen vesicles prior to the scabs.  Since the first scabbing episode, I have been checking myself prior to a ride and post rides.  Never seen a vesicle prior to a ride.
Thank you for taking the time    
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Avatar_m_tn
I forgot to ask, Could herpes behave like that (3 episodes in a 1.5 months) and no blisters at all for each episode?
I started to use some antirubing creams specifically made for cycling and so far all is good.
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Avatar_m_tn
Terri,
I am sorry for the additional postings.  The areas in question never presented any raised skin, bumps, irritation, ich, red color, etc prior to the appareance of the scabbs.  The scabbs just apeared after riding the bicycle.  I also sweat a lot, probably more than any person you would ever get to meet, ever.
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55646_tn?1263664409
And certainly the scabs could come from riding your bicycle.  The part that throws me off here is that you have not noticed these scabs before when riding your bicycle, is that correct?  Did you do anything different when riding your bike this time?  It is true that most often you would notice some other sensation if this was herpes, like pain or itching.  But very often, the vesicles break in the genital area before we see them, forming scabs.  If they come up again, go in to have them swabbed, even if they are scabbed.  If possible, request that the test they use is PCR, not culture.  It would probably be best if they rubbed the scabs off to get to the base of whatever if present when swabbing is done.

It is best to wait about 4 months to be tested most accurately from the last concerning sexual exposure.

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
Except for the last episode, the scabs are hard to see.  I saw them because I was paying very close attention.  So, there may have been some like that in the past.  I have been riding my bike for 10+ years and have not kept mental notes of this sort of occurrence until now.  I do recall getting sores around my butt and in between my legs.  I do believe I have had rawness and small scabs before.  
The scabs on my pelvis area have left a very visible scar. I read herpes leaves no scars.
Yes, I never feel anything like pain or itch. never, prior to one of these scabbing episodes.
You say that very often vesicles break before we see them.  Like I mentioned, I would check myself very well prior to riding and never noticed a vesicle, never!  
After the initial encounter, I looked at my genital area very very carefully for 2 weeks, even using a magnifiying glass and saw nothing unusual.
I am thinking that if these would be of herpetic nature, at least in one of the episodes, I would have seen a blister or vesicle, but i saw nothing...  Am i wrong to think that?
So, even if it is just a scab, you can it be test swabbed?
Like I said, i would check myself prior to rides, go out for 2-3 hours and then come back to find a raw area that gets a scab.  Could it be possible for a herpes vesicle to form and break in a period of 2-3 hours and then form a scab overnight?
Is it possible for 3 herpes manifestations to occur in a period of 1.5 months?
would a test at 14 weeks be accurate enough?  My thought is that if these lesions are of herpetic nature, if I test right now (12 weeks) the test would be positive, given that the herpes "manifested" itself? right?
Thanks for taking the time.

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55646_tn?1263664409
This changes the picture somewhat, given that you have seen these before after riding your bike.  These now don't sound like typical herpes lesions that might form a scab.  

I think a test at 14 weeks would be adequate.

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
Terri,
I am not 100% sure if I had these or not before.  I recall having some sort of rawness before, but i am not certain beyond doubt.

If you assume that these have not shown before, does the description I gave you above is what you would typically see on a herpes lesion?

I asked a series of questions above, would you mind giving me your opinion to those?

Thanks for your time
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55646_tn?1263664409
You might not ever see the vesicle stage for reasons I gave you before.
It can be tested using PCR even if there is a scab.
It is possible for a small herpes lesion to break and form a scab overnight.
It is possible that you could have three herpes outbreaks in 1.5 months.
A test at 14 weeks would be adequate, yes.  I wouldn't recommend one at 12 weeks, regardless of the physical manifestations.

Having answered all those questions, I still don't think it sounds like herpes given your description of previous similar symptoms.  But only testing or a good clinician review can give you a more definitive answer.

This will be my final post on this thread.

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
Terri,
I know you said you wont reply to my questions here again, and if needed I can start a new threat.  I goy my test results at 14 weeks:
HSV 1/2 IGG Type Specific ABS
HSV 1 IGG AB >5.00 H
HSV 2 IGG AB >0.07

I do recall having cold sores in my mouth before, but also getting canker sores.  I do not get cold sores often, maybe less than once per year.  but i do recall having some really painful stuff around my mouth and inside my mouth.  
please let me know what I need to do here since I am married.  I do recall seeing a cold sore on my wife's mouth as early as 1 month ago.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Terri,
just to clarify my post above.  As you can read from earlier, the scabs I had presented cero pain, cero.  Also there were many episodes in a short period of time and the third scabbing episode I had sounds a bit atypical for a primary infection.  From what I read genital HSV I does not recur that often in such short period of time?
My wife did not perform oral sex when she had the cold sore.   I mentioned that because I am not sure if the scabs on my penis are due to HSV I but if they are then I would think my wife would not get genital HSV I.
I do recall having painful lessions on my lips but dont happen often.
I am concerned, please let me know what you think.
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55646_tn?1263664409
We know you have HSV 1 somewhere, just can't be certain without a swab test exactly where you are infected.  If you have had painful lesions on your lips, then it is certainly most likely that you have it orally, not genitally.

Terri
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55646_tn?1263664409
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