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Herpes bumps - no pain?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Herpes bumps - no pain?

I recently had unprotected sex with a friend a month or two ago, which was a one time thing. 14-15 days later I noticed what seemed to be a sinus infection coming on (dark phlegm, body aches, sweats) I dosed up on vitamin c early and it went away within the next day. A couple days later while on vacation after lots of sex with a frequent partner I noticed a group of tiny bumps towards the distal area of my penis.  The bumps were hard to see unless closely inspected, but there was also an area of redness with no bumps which looked like it was peeling or flaking, I began to panic and further my anxiety by checking, the bumps appeared to have a dark center which could have been a scab. There was absolutely no tingle, no pain or tenderness to the touch. No itching or other symptoms. They stayed the same for 7 days since noticing and went away but during the 7 days kept flaking around the redness and bumps.

During the appearance I saw a PA who said it didn't look like herpes but have me an HSV 2 test to make sure it wasn't a previous infection, she said I had no swollen lymph nodes or anything.

Later I began palpating my own groin and thought I felt a swollen lymph node but only one. I had also gotten two large tattoos on my thigh that extend to my groin during all of these symptoms, so I'm sure if what I felt wasn't due to the tattoos

I asked the female if she had been tested and said she had been tested the next day and was clean for herpes and everything else.

I'm just concerned with all the coincidental symptoms, but am hesitant to think HSV because of the no pain or tenderness at all and the lack of noticeable change during the 7 days. My thought was that an initial outbreak would last longer, at least be somewhat tender and be fairly noticeable. The flaking and dryness also doesn't seem to make sense

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Welcome to our Forum.  In preparing to answer your questions I briefly reviewed some of your more than 130 prior posts on various Community sites and Forums.  A consistent theme is that you are (and acknowledge) a bit overly anxious about the possibility of genital herpes.  This is not unusual.,  Sadly, in our society, for reasons that have more to do with sociology than medicine, the stigma and concern associated with possible herpes has been blown far out of proportion to what is appropriate.  I provide this comment as a prelude to telling you that the signs and symptoms you mention are unlikely to be due to herpes.

The flaking rash and small lesions you mention are nor suggestive of herpes, nor are the red scab-like dots you mention.  Initial herpes lesions are typically uncomfortable so if your lesions are painless, this too makes HSV unlikely.  Finally, you have been examined by a trained health care professional who sounds knowledgeable.  Putting all of this together, it is unlikely that the lesions you note are HSV.  As to what they might be, that is more difficult to say- trauma from recent sex, allergies, some other skin conditions are all possible.  Further, as you point out, had this been initial HSV, it would be usual for your symptoms to have lasted more than twice as long as the 1 week period you mention.

As for your swollen lymph node, your recent tattoo could well explain this, as could an number of other, nun-specific, non-herpes causes.

Bottom line. there is little reason for you to be worried about HSV.  I see no reason for testing at this time and would counsel against HSV blood tests (which, because you already have a strongly positive test for HSV-1, is more likely to be falsely positive than to lead to a diagnosis of recently acquired HSV-2).

I hope my comment is helpful.  EWH
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