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Single bump on penis - confused
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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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Single bump on penis - confused

Hello,

I understand that this will be my last thread for 6 months, but I'm extremely anxious and unsure of what to do so I'd appreciate a doctor's advice.

A few weeks ago I tested negative for herpes (doc said I'd never been in contact).  Shortly after, I was with a new woman.  I received unprotected oral and we had protected vaginal sex.

8 days after the encounter, I found a single bump on the shaft of my penis (right about where the condom would have ended).  So I went to my doctor, and he said it did not look like herpes but more like an irritation from shaving.  4 days after noticing the bump, it has shrunk and looks like it's going away.  The skin over the bump seems to be a little dry and has 'peeled away', leaving a very subtle ring of dry skin around the bump (kind of like a pimple).  It hasn't become a blister, and I haven't noticed any clustering or any other sores.

I'm posting here because I'm very confused about contradictory things I've read.  

Some say that after being exposed the first time, a male will usually show symptoms within 2 weeks.  Others say that 80% of people show no symptoms at all.  

My doctor said that he believed I was fine, and I shouldn't worry unless it blisters or clusters.  He said I 'would know' if I got herpes.  But after reading a lot of posts here, I'm not convinced.  I've read that symptoms are often mistaken for follicle irritation, pimples, etc., and because the bump showed up 8 days after the encounter, I am still worried.  The timing of the bump's appearance is my main source of anxiety.

I've been seeing someone in a relationship that seems to be going somewhere and I don't want to infect her if I've caught herpes.

Based on this information, do you believe I am likely to be infected?  Is my doctor right and am I worrying too much?  Also, is there a reliable test that can be done at 6 weeks?

Thank you - if there's any more information that I can provide I would be glad to.
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As we have discussed, you have little reason to worry about herpes.  I can see how, with sufficient anxiety and taking things out of context the statements, "you will see lesions within 2 weeks" and "80% of people show no symptoms at all" can appear contradictory.  Actually, they are not, particularly if you appreciate that the second statement is not quite correct.

First of all, indeed the vast majority of persons who acquire herpes do have lesions which appear within 10days to two weeks following exposure to infection.  These lesions are however all too discounted or attributed to other causes ("chaffing, bug bites, folliculitis, etc" ) by the persons who experience them because they expect the symptoms of genital herpes to be very severe.  As a result of persons misidentifying their GH lesions as something else, 80% of persons with herpes do not know the have it (this is different than "do not show symptoms").

As I told you before the bump you described does not sound like HSV to me, nor did it appear that way to your doctor.  Could t have been? - sure.  Was it likely to have been? - no!.  If you want to get a type specific blood test to see if you have herpes you might do that. With tests such as the HerpeSelect, about 75% of persons with first episodes of herpes will have positive tests at 6 weeks and 95% by 6 months.  The final 5% become positive more slowly but exactly how slowly is unknown.  To be honest, I hesitate to recommend that you get a blood test because these tests do sometimes yield false positive results and I worry about fueling your anxiety more than it already has been.

I do not think you have herpes.   I hope my comments help you to come to the same conclusion.  EWH
6 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Follow-up question:

If this bump were herpes, is it possible that it would disappear without blistering/erupting?  I am so confused by the seemingly contradictory information I've read that I don't know what to look for.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'd like to post an update and see if you have any additional thoughts.

Here's the quick version:

7 days after sex, bump appears on shaft

After about 4 days, it begins to shrink a bit.  My doctor said it looked like a clogged oil pore (or something similar).  I went to a dermatologist, who said it didn't look like anything in particular.  Doctors told me it didn't look like herpes, but it 'could be, because herpes is a great imitator'.  They said if it were herpes it would likely hurt, cluster, or become a blister (none applied).

8 days after the bump appeared, it had a small whitehead in the center, which I accidentally popped (much like a pimple).  About 36 hours after it popped, I went to a clinic and had a culture taken (I'm anxiously waiting for results).  Now, 2 days after the popping, I have a small, circular, dark red scab where the bump was.  It looks much like a healing pimple, but also looks like a healing herpes sore that I've seen pictures of.

I've convinced myself again that I was unlucky enough to catch herpes during a single, careless encounter (it was protected, but not typical behavior for me).

I'd be interested to know if you've ever known herpes to behave this way.  As I said before, the fact that the bump appeared about a week after sex has made me sick with worry.  I am obviously hoping you'll tell me not to fret (again), but I'd appreciate an honest evaluation based on the information I'm able to share.  I'd also like to hear from any other members here who might have experienced something similar.

Also, will the results of the culture be reliable?  I will update here with results once I have them.  If it's negative I will hopefully be able to put this behind me.  If it's positive, I'll just have to deal with it.

Thank you once again.
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Avatar_m_tn
I think Dr. Hook has answered this one for you!! I bet you 100 bucks he is going to tell you the same thing he has been telling you, IT'S NOT HERPES!!!!!
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300980_tn?1194933000
The lesion won't be positive with your culture results -because it is not herpes.  The culture results will be reliable and will be negative.  What you have described is the typical appearance and healing process of folliculitis or similar benign skin conditions (your 1rst doctor told you this is what he/she thought it was).  It is no way suggestive of herpes.  

Please realize you do not have the worlds most unusual manifestation of herpes - you have a benign , non-STD lesion which occurred on you penis and anxiety which is severe and corrosive to your mental health.  

EWH
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Avatar_m_tn
Just following up.

Got the results today, and you were right - they were negative.  Thank you for your patience and for tolerating my lunacy.  

I guess I owe slacker101 some money :)

PS.  Dr. Hook - I've begun seeing someone about my anxiety problems.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have a small single bump on my shaft. Randomly showed up it wont pop like a pimple. It doesn't hurt tingle or burn. could this be an std? The bump almost looks like a pimple but deff isn't. Its darker in color. Do I have an std?
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