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Pimple on penis vs. HPV/Herpes/STD
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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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Pimple on penis vs. HPV/Herpes/STD

Hello Doctor,

Recently a pimple-like bump appeared on the shaft of my penis. It developed a white-head which could be "popped" and a yellow/white puss came out. It does have some pain similar to a pimple.

My question is; do any of the typical STD's that appear on the penis develop a white-head or are able to be "popped"? From what I have seen on the web herpes and warts are not usually able to be popped.

What does this sound like?

Thanks
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Garden-variety pimples certain can appear on the penis and it sounds like that's what you had.  The only STD that could possibly cause anything like that is herpes.  Warts are solid tissue, do not develop white heads, and cannot be popped.

Herpes usually starts with several blister-like lesions, not a single lesion.  Also, herpes sores tend to be quite superficial.  If it looked like a typical pimple, I see no worries here.  However, no distant online expert can make a definite diagnosis.  If you think you have been at risk for genital herpes and want to be certain, see a heatlh care provider (very soon, before the lesion heals).  Your local health department STD clinic would be a good choice.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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Thanks for your replay Doctor Handsfield.

However, I did have one additional question. Regarding genital herpes, is there any defining characteristics that would seperate it from a common pimple? In general what would be a tell tale sign of herpes vs. a pimple.

Thanks.
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I already stated the most important ones:  multiple versus single lesions; herpes initially looking like blisters (bumps filled with clear fluid); and the more superficial nature of herpes.  Think of herpes lesions as occurring on the surface of the skin, whereas pimples originate "in" the skin, with a bump than later develops a whitehead.  And usually no thick pus from herpes.

None of this is hard and fast. But from all you say, you can be pretty sure you had a pimple, not herpes.  However, if you need more definite information that this, you will have to see a doctor or clinic in person.  You're never going to know for sure by asking questions on this forum or by any searching online.
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This Forum's Experts
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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