Is there a differential diagnosis for genital herpes that someone can do at home?
Just for those cases where it's clearly not obviously herpes, with classic oozing sores, prodromes, etc.
For example, I have a patch of skin about the size of my thumb that's red and sore, on the shaft near the glans. Been there a week. I thought it was poison ivy due to the way it felt (patchy, itchy mild bumps in a line, irritated, slight oozing from the skin), but it wasn't that bad. Then a few days later my glans started getting a tingle on just the edge, like a prodrome, but it's odd to get a prodrome days after the skin has inflammed, I'm thinking.
I still think it's poison ivy, or maybe a fungal/yeast infection maybe. It's just really a vague set of symptoms. But maybe it's genital herpes. I haven't had any high risk exposures in years, but I've had some low risk ones in the past month (shared a damp towel with a friend that stayed the night, drunk at a party and a drunk girl unzipped me and played with my willy with her hands for about a minute, received oral sex while wearing a condom but she put the condom on with her mouth, that sort of thing).
So, is there a series of simple tests that could be tried in order to rule out different diseases?
Like if I use hydrocortisone. It would reduce redness for herpes and poison ivy, but not a fungal infection. Or using hydrocortisone could cause herpes to get worse, but it wouldn't make anything else worse.
If I use an antifungal cream, it would work on fungus, but not herpes or poison ivy.
An antibiotic cream could work on a bacterial infection like balinitis, but wouldn't work on herpes, poison ivy, or a fungal infection.
So, I'm trying to see if there's a flowchart someone could follow to help them figure out what these gray area rashes and bumps might be.
I think that would help people from freaking out too much, because it could help them get some answers without having to wait weeks for lab tests.