MedHelp.org will cease operations on May 31, 2024. It has been our pleasure to join you on your health journey for the past 30 years. For more info, click here.
Avatar universal

Can Herpes behave like this?

I'm a 35 year old male, HSV-1 positive. I have had two oral cold sores, but nothing genital until this story began:

6 weeks ago I had sex with a woman who told me she had just been tested for everything and was clean.

We used a condom but also performed oral sex on one another. For the finale she asked me to ejaculate on her, so I removed the condom and obliged, masturbated (with a hand whose fingers had been inside her earlier) until I climaxed.

About 10 days later, my foreskin started feeling sensitive and a bit raw (FYI I am circumcised). It seemed a bit more moist, sticky, and shiny than normal, but otherwise nothing. This lasted about a week.

Then I woke up one morning after masturbating the night before, and saw 3-4 small, faintly red spots on my penis. Upon closer examination they were areas of very minor inflammation surrounding tiny (almost invisible) cracks in the skin around 1-2mm in length each.

I considered atypical herpes but also (upon some compulsive web reading) also balanitis. There didn't seem to be anything to swab, so I did not to go to an MD. I began to treat with lotrimin cream to see if my symptoms improved. They did improve after several days. The cracks disappeared and the stickiness subsided.

However another week later, the sticky/raw foreskin was back. This time I went to the MD. Like me, he couldn't see a damned thing. He told me to cease all "penis activities" for a week or so, which I did. Also went back to the Lotrimin cream.

Feeling better, 12 days ago I masturbated vigorously and noticed a raw pain sensation just below the frenulum of my penis. This is the area where the elastic foreskin skin joins together into many fine folds. Like a turkey neck :-)

Spreading those folds apart, I saw a cluster of TINY bumps/blisters. Each bump less than 1mm diameter...maybe like a pin head. So small, they could only be seen if I spread the skin very taught and caught the light just right. However they were definitely there, and not hair follicles or other normal skin features.

I marched back to the MD and showed him. He wasn't sure if he saw anything at all, and was certainly not convinced that I had herpes. He mentioned the excruciating pain and other hallmarks of a typical presentation. He suggested I get a test when I return home in a few weeks (currently traveling).

Well, for the 12 days since I discovered them, those bumps/blisters have remained about the same. They have not grown, or receded, or burst. No real redness - maybe a tiny bit pinker than the surrounding skin. Aside from a bit of raw feeling, they have not been causing me much discomfort. Occasionally I've had some discomfort with urination, at the very tip of my penis.

When I return home I plan to get tested for all STDs including HSV-2 (I realize this could be genital HSV-1, but it seems too late for a swab test). In the meantime, I'm spending way too much time thinking about this.

If this is herpes, my case seems quite atypical.

Have any of you healthcare professionals, or HSV hosts, known herpes to behave this way? Or do you maybe suspect balanitis or another STD?

3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
The multiple location infection needs to happen within a small timeframe. There are no known documented cases of a male becoming infected with genital HSV1 with an established oral infection.

I think what is underneath your penis head is natural skin, it is typically a little 'bubbly' there and permanent.

HSV2 seems only the remotest of possibilities.

I think this is much more likely to be a skin condition from fungus or bacteria.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks for the response, Life360. I'd love for this to be a fungus.

I remain suspicious of HSV though, for a few reasons:

1) I know people who have both oral and genital HSV-1, and have read others' experience with the same. Also I've seen warnings about possible cross-infection from one's own mouth to genitals during a cold sore outbreak.

2) It seems possible for this to be HSV-2, since I touched my penis with fingers that had been inside my partner's vagina.

3) The shape and distribution of these 'bumps' seems quite similar to pictures of herpes blisters I've seen online. However it does seem strange they haven't grown, ruptured, or shrunk in nearly 2 weeks!

4) If it's a fungus, it has persisted through 10 days or so of treatment with Lotrimin.

5) The discomfort with urination. I understand it's uncommon for fungus to affect the urethra, but common for herpes to do so. This morning I woke up with the urethra opening swollen shut, so my urine came out as a split stream and sprinkle.

Helpful - 0
3149845 tn?1506627771
Hi, when a person has oral hsv1 they would be basicly immune to contracting it in the genital area and  vise veras. Your symptoms dont appear at all herpes related but more fungal from self irritation.
Helpful - 0

You are reading content posted in the Herpes Community

Popular Resources
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.
Millions of people are diagnosed with STDs in the U.S. each year.
STDs can't be transmitted by casual contact, like hugging or touching.
Syphilis is an STD that is transmitted by oral, genital and anal sex.