STDs Expert Forum
Male with pubic itching/uretheral burning
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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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Male with pubic itching/uretheral burning

Hello.  About 3 weeks ago, I started getting this itching feeling in my pubic area.  There are no visible signs of inflammation or irritation in the affected area (no redness except maybe a little if I scratch it or when I take a shower), and there's also no bumps or papules or penile discharge anything weird like that.  I've noticed that I've also had what feels like urethral burning (though it's kind of hard to place), but this is minor compared to the pubic itching/burning feeling.  
To be more specific, the itching is on about the first half-inch of the base of my penis (particularly on the top side) and about the first inch or so in my pubic area above the base of my penis.  My doctor tested me for chlamydia and gonorrhea, and I was found to be negative. She also tested me for Herpes Simplex 1 and 2, both of which were negative.  I think the may have also tested me for any other STDs (besides HIV) that can be detected from a blood test (she's very thorough about blood tests).  My blood and urine have been completely normal.  It has also been proven that I don't have crabs.  The itchy/burning feeling is so sensitive that I can feel even from simply pressing down gently on my pubic hair without actually touching the skin.  There have been a couple days where it felt like it was starting to get better, but right now it's as bad as ever.  During the few times where it felt like the itching was improving, I noticed the urethral burning a little more, but that may just be a contrast of feeling.  I was diagnosed with non-gonococcal urethritis, but I took 7 days of doxycycline that she gave me and it didn't help.

The last time I had any sexual contact before the itching started was 5 days before, when I had oral sex and genital-to-genital contact with another man.  Even though I've been tested negative for all these STDs, I'm a little paranoid.  I'm going to see a urologist soon, but was wondering if I could get any advance idea of what I might be in for.  Thanks.
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Your symptoms don't sound like those of any STD and you have been tested for all the common things.  There are no uncommon STDs likely to cause this, so you can be reasonably sure that no STD is reponsible for the symptoms, and I doubt they have anything at all to do with your recent sexual exposure.  I imagine your doctor's treatment for NGU was just as a precaution, since you don't describe any symptoms that make NGU likely.  Anyway, if NGU had been the problem, the doxycycline would have worked.

One possibility for pubic area itching is pubic lice (crabs).  Itching is the main symptom, and they can be hard to see.  Examine yourself closely, ideally with a magnifying glass, looking for the lice themselves (which at first look like flat brownish spots about a millimiter (1/16 inch) in size); or for nits (eggs), which appear as gray or whitish spots attached near the base of pubic hairs.

Aside from crabs -- which can be sexually transmitted -- I see no reason to be concerned about any STD.  The comment below suggests it might just be increased irritation of a chronic skin problem.  If the problem persists and your own doctor doesn't come up with a clear answer, consider seeing a dermatologist.

Whatever you have, it certainly isn't dangerous.  There is no serious health risk here.

I hope this helps.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD
3 Comments
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By the way (it's still me, the original question asker), I've had an ongoing problem for quite some time now where on the shaft of my penis, I have flaking/peeling of the skin.  I think this is a direct result of too much masturbation without lubricant (especially the way I sometimes masturbate -- by rubbing the head of my penis vigorously -- it's a bad habit, I know).  Sometimes it flakes off to the point where, if I rub the skin of my penis shaft against a black t-shirt or something just to see what comes off, I can easily see the flaked off skin.  If I stop masturbating for a while, it tends to get better and go away.  But naturally, as a guy, it's not easy to do that.  This only affects the shaft of my penis, more towards the head (and sometimes on the head itself, but not so much), and I have not had this problem in the same area that I'm having the pubic itching.  But I just thought you should know in case it's somehow relevant.    Thanks again, and thank god for anonymous internet posting because this is embarrassing!
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I should clarify my statement that "you don't describe any symptoms that make NGU likely".  Burning on urination can be due to NGU, but not usually as the only symptom.  If there was no abnormal discharge from the penis, NGU is unlikely.  In any case, almost all cases respond to doxycycline, so that's good evidence against NGU.
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A related discussion, same dam thing and its driving me crazy was started.
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