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Differential Diagnosis?

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.

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Avatar universal
I'm not talking about me.  I'm 99% certain I don't herpes (had a sketchy girlfriend last year and haven't been tested since so I think there may be a 1% chance it just took a year to show up).  I'm not worried.

I'm talking about in general, for a wider audience.



Helpful - 0
15249123 tn?1478652475
COMMUNITY LEADER
There os no at home tests. Those are not low risk exposures you describe. They are absolutely no risk. No std is transmitted like that including the dreaded sharing of towels we have all read about. Here is the best advice I can give you. See a dermatologist as you just trying differant things in a trail and error sort of way will probably make everything worse.
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