Avatar universal

Folliculitis on my penis?

Hi, I am male 19 years old.  about a couple weeks ago I noticed what looked to be an ingrown hair on my penis shaft on the top side. I didn't think too much of it but a couple days later maybe about 5 more red bumps showed up along my shaft. Soon, a few more came including one on the underside just under the head (I am uncircumsized). It started to really worry me.  I tried a lot of things like lathering up that area with the bar soap in the shower (not anti-bacterial), triple anti biotic ointment, exfoliating with a wash cloth..that is pretty much the extent of it. Well a couple days ago, my penis started to look scary. I woke up with the same type of bumps all over, just looking down, I can see one or two jutting from the side, as like 10-12 on top as well as maybe 4-5 scattered around the remaining sides. There are one or two on the very underside of my scrotum. The bumps are NOT small. They are almost 1cm long. like 5 or 6 of them could go the length of the penis, so they are not a million little ones.

I do not think they are herpes though. They do not look like blisters at all. I have had them now for about 2 weeks, and nothing has ruptured or oozed or crusted over leaving a sore or anything like that. Nor have I had any flu symptoms or trouble peeing, they are just there. Also, they are red. I doubt it is warts because they are not skinned colored nor do they look like cauliflower.

I'm reluctant to go so far as to say they look like pimples because only some do but they are DEFINITELY not pimples. I did not go all out popping them, but tried to some extent to pop a couple and nothing comes out...well, they do not pop at all. Unpoppable. I don't see any pus nor white heads.

Well, here are some fast facts that will undoubtedly be important to your diagnois:
-They do not hurt nor are they tender, even to the touch.
-They itch randomly. Walking around and sitting down, theres no itch 95% of the time. Occasionally there will be an itch in one spot, and it is significant and I can't ignore it. other than that I am fine, although lately there has been a prickly sensation down there against my inner thighs if that makes sense. NOT TINGLY though. Kinda uncomfortable however.
-I have not shaved down there or trimmed since maybe last year, so that has nothing to do with this.
-The one on the underside I mentioned earlier slowly got smaller and smaller (it was kinda thick and scary, maybe a little less the 1cm) and I noticed today that it is gone completely. That has to be significant.
-Laying down with a blanket over me causes them to itch, before it was significant but it is slowly getting better. I often wake up itching down there all over, but again, that has been getting better too.
-When I am aroused, they itch.
- Just playing around with the penis causes it to itch.
- This did not occur just after sex. Last time I had sex with my girlfriend was like april 23rd or so. This occured in the last week of may. She got tested twice when I brought this up to her. First it was a false positive then the next was negative. I have been having sex with her  unprotected since february almost every day and nothing has happened until now. That was away at college and I havent seen her since the 24 of April, I had been at home.

-I did not wash myself well the two weeks before this developed. I did not shower at all (I know, bad) but even when I did before I did not pay too much attention to my penis when cleaning.
-The air conditioning broke and it was very hot and I was sweating. I also was getting exercise and sweating and not showering afterwards.
-I have been gaining weight especially around my thighs. I went on a long hot walk with my brother where I was chaffing in my thighs by the end, It was around this time, that the first ingrown hair showed up.
-Around that time also, I purchased new athletic shorts that were kind of constrictive on me. (This is wishful thinking though).

I have been washing and showering since to no avail. Even when I was with my girlfriend, I gave her oral sex and nothing showed up then either.

Please help.
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563773 tn?1374246539
These bumps can be due to folliculitis after shaving. Keep the area clean and apply some topical antiseptics. Also wear loose-fitting cotton clothing and use an antibacterial soap or mild soap like dove.Avoid any kind of cosmetics. Topical antibiotics such as mupirocin or neomycin containing ointment are also useful.In case the symptoms persist then oral antibiotics may be needed.

It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your doctor. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.

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Avatar universal
Hey thank you for responding, I think there wasnt a response on here so I gave up but it turns out you did respond and I am just finding that out now.
I do still need your advice, however.

Anyhow,  I visited a dermatologist who thought it was a contact dermatitis, possibly from poison ivy. he prescribed me prednisone, 20mg twice daily for 7 days then once daily for 7 days. it cleared it up significantly, just not all the way. By the end of treatment there was maybe one small bump and a few spots.

Unfortunately, after the prednisone ended, the bumps came back fast and full force, just not as bad as they were when I described them in my first post. I did two more rounds of 10 day long prednisone courses. Both times it never fully cleared up and bumps would still return within a weeks time.

we called our dermatologist and said it wasnt working and he changed course surprisingly and prescribed me 3 tablets of ivermectin and told me to take it and wait a week. no real improvement, although I started using cold water on the lesions which seemed to shrink them, as opposed to my hot showers which probably brought them to a head.

The dermatologist said if the ivermectin didn't help they would do a biopsy. At this point I was still leaning towards it being poison ivy dermatitis so I chose to go to a different doctor rather than wait a week for results just to come up as contact dermatitis (wasted time and I am going away to college very soon).

we instead went to a different dermatologist, this was on monday, who noticed that I had taken bactrim for years. He examined the lesions and seems think it was "gram negative acne" although I think he meant gram negative follucilitis, or maybe I am wrong. Either way it is starting to make more and more sense to me.

He has given me doxycycline 100mg twice daily for 10 days then one daily for 10 days.

Here is where I need help. Its day 4 of taking the doxycyline twice daily and I havent noticed improvement at all, and I am starting to worry as people on the internet say it takes 3 days.

I know I shouldnt trust that, but the dermatologist said I should be seeing improvement "right away, you should be feeling better by the end of the week" well I took the first dosage monday and it is now thursday. Maybe I should give it a couple more days and stop reading the internet, but I am still worried.

His idea is starting to make more sense though. If it was poison ivy i feel it would come on much faster ( i had walked some trails and through some wooded areas on may 3rd but didnt notice anything at all until around like may 20th, and it is localized to my penis. If I was that reckless to spread it there it would have gone everywhere. Also, I had been wearing the same types and brands of boxers for a while and have before been exposed to the detergents my mom had been using and even when we changed detergents, still no improvement.

More importantly, I had been taking bactrim for years for acne. It did work for me, and helped me out. But as I grew older, I found less need to use it and practically stopped and would literally use it sporadically since I was so used to it.

What concerns me though is why would this gram negative thing just affect my penis? Could it be because it had been sweaty and not cleaned in a while. I do not know but your take on all of this could be helpful.

Thank you.
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Avatar universal
Im a 30 year old male that this has never happened to but I noticed the other day a lump was forming on the side of my penis shaft does not hurt but does itch at times and cortizone cream helps with that its the same color as my skin not red and does not look like cowiflower nor is there any puss n it will not pop its just there but seems to be going away. Could this be folliculutis?
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Avatar universal
Hey man Im having the exact same thing happen to my penis and Im freaking out. Everything you described seems on point with mine except Im already taking doxycline for acne before the bumps popped up. I was wondering if this problem was ever resolved. My first doctor said it was folliculitus but I am not sure.
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