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Avatar universal

Does herpes go away in 24 hours?

Hi Everyone,

I posted a question yesterday after being visually diagnosed by my primary care doc for HSV. To be clear, I didn't have any visible blister, lesions, etc. I essentially noticed a couple bright red patches of skin beneath my foreskin. No pain, itching or tingling at all, nor did I experience any of the flu like symptoms or swollen glands. Based on this appointment, my doc prescribed me 500mg of Valtrex twice daily. I took two pills yesterday and one this morning. When I woke up this morning, I examined myself and saw the red spots to be virtually gone. Mind you, I never noticed anything down there until yesterday morning.

Another important thing to note is I have gotten the HSV type testing done and tested positive for HSV1 (I've had cold sores before) and negative for HSV2. I accidentally have my gf HSV1 genitally and last Friday, we had unprotected sex and she said she felt some pain where she had had her outbreak initially. Don't know if she's having another outbreak, but I thought I had some protection genitally if I've already had it orally.

Anyway, wanted to know if based on what I just described if this does indeed sound like a herpes outbreak, or perhaps something else. I surf frequently and will wear a bathing suit all day and not shower till the morning, and I've had rough sex and have masturbated, so don't know if I could e perhaps caused friction beneath the foreskin from that.  I'm going to try and see a dermatologist today while I still have some red spots to get their opinion, but wanted to pose this to the forum. Thanks.
7 Responses
3149845 tn?1506631371
Hi, dosent really fit the profile of herpes lesions.
Avatar universal
Hi Life360,

Thanks for the response.  I just got back from a different doctor (my dermatologist wasn't in the office today).

After explaining the above scenario and a having her physically examine me, she stated that she doesn't think this is herpes at all, but rather a different skin irritation.  She also reminded me (despite me stating I saw conflicting information on this) that if I've had a cold sore more than 6 months ago (I had my first cold sore probably 4-5 years ago) then it's not going to jump to another part of my body because I've already built up immunities to this in one area of my body (i.e., the glands near my throat or whatever).  She said that since if it were herpes, you would know it because you'd ave the ulcers, etc.  The fact that I don't have any ulcerated skin and that the red patch is nearly gone, then it doesn't sound like herpes at all.

I explained that my other doctor took a swab test of the red marks yesterday and she said typically, she would tell people not to trust those if that's the only test that's been done to test for herpes, but since my gf and I both previously tested positive for HSV1 and negative for HSV2, that if it comes back to negative to trust it.  She said if it's positive, then I'd be a medical enigma because she's never seen that happen before.

Lastly, even though my doctor told me that the disease doesn't jump around, I'm confused based on some of the below links:




Is there any truth to this?  Just confusing/conflicting information, especially since I'm hearing two different things from two different doctors...
3149845 tn?1506631371
All of these are only saying there is a risk and some risk are so low that they consider it not possilble as your doctor said about it jumping around.
1998092 tn?1391246445
Hi BusterBuns - take a deep breath, darlin. You'll be just fine.

The NYU and Minnesota Health site look fairly reliable. I'd be careful of what you read out there on the net on some other sites, however.

I agree with your doctor that if you've had coldsores for 4-5 years, that you're not going to pass it to a site below the belt. Your antibodies are in your bloodstream, and cover pretty much all of you. This doesn't mean you don't already have it below the belt, but if you do, you probably contracted it at the same time as you did your oral virus, or before you had built enough antibodies.

Also, about jumping around: the virus "sleeps" in nerve bundles (ganglia), generally near the base of the neck for oral herpes. From there, when it wakes up, it can travel up any number of nerve pathways (cells) to the surface of the skin, where it can cause a recurrence. These termination points could be anywhere those nerve pathways lead, which is why it looks like it's jumping around. Your oral herpes could cause a recurrence on a different part of your lip, your cheek, your nose, etc.

A positive swab is actually the most reliable of results. I'm not sure why your doctor thinks it's not. In fact a negative swab could be false, if the swab was taken more than 48 hours following the presentation of symptoms.

It's also important to know that it's possible to have herpes even without any symptoms - in fact, the majority of people who have herpes don't have symptoms. Also, symptoms present in a number of ways besides just ulcers or blisters. They can look like rashes, paper cuts, single lesions, etc.
Avatar universal
Thanks catinbarefeet,

I'm going to call the doctor I first saw yesterday on Friday for the swab test results.  I just checked myself again and literally, the redness has nearly disappeared entirely.  As I said, I never noticed anything until yesterday morning for the first time and it was just two red marks beneath my foreskin.  I've read more on what this could be and other possibilities I've see are friction, balanitis, dermatitis, etc.  I'm not a doctor and don't know everything about herpes, but I haven't seen anything indicating this disappears within 24 hours.  Like I said, this is the first time I EVER noticed anything below the belt, and I had a cold sore on my lip for the first time about 5 years ago.  I know that my gf also gets yeast infections periodically, and don't know if maybe that was what I had gotten from her.  Just trying to sort out any/all possibilities, but the fact that you mentioned herpes can present itself as a mere "rash," kinda freaks me out.  My doctors have always told me, "if you had herpes, believe me, you'd know it..."

Avatar universal
Hi catinbarefeet and Life360,

So after much perusing yesterday, I think I may know what I have going on down there.

My girlfriend frequently gets mild yeast infections in her mouth (and has had them vaginally) and she shared with me that she has one active right now.  I received lengthy oral sex last Friday before she and I had sex and noticed the red patches beneath my foreskin on Tuesday morning.  I took 1000 mg of Valtrex on Tuesday, 500 mg on Wednesday morning, and haven't taken any more because the second doctor I saw yesterday didn't think herpes was the cause (she said that even with the Valtrex, my symptoms wouldn't have gone away so quickly).  

After seeing some images online and learning that yeast infections (especially in uncircumcised males...which I am) can cause these types of red patches, I think that's what I have.  I checked again this morning and the one red patch is entirely gone, and the other is barely noticeable.  Last night I looked and it looked as though there was some dry skin around the edges of where the red patches were, but no burning, itching, tingling, pain, etc.  I also still haven't experienced any of the other symptoms associated with classic herpes (from what I've read).  

I get my swab tests back tomorrow, so hopefully when I speak to my doctor I can explain everything that's been going on.  I also looked back at my previous HSV2 test results.  I had had a protected (condom) sexual encounter on February 12 of this past year, and had an IgG blood test done for HSV2 done on May 3.  I know I'm short about 10 days, but my doctor told me this would've come back positive if I had had herpes 2.

Anyway, just wanted to bounce this possibility off of you.  I know I've been messaging a good bit the past couple of days, but you have both been enormously helpful and I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate you taking the time to read through my posts/situation...thanks again.
Avatar universal
catinbarefeet and Life360:

Hope you're doing well.

I went back to my doctor today who saw me last week and my herpes swab test came back negative.  He said it could very well be a false positive and that what he saw did indeed look like herpes.  I don't understand though as I never developed blisters, etc., nor did it ever turn into an open wound.  And while I took 24 hours worth of Valtrex, it looked as though it had cleared up almost entirely the next day.  He said that with HSV1 and Valtrex, it tends to clear up very quickly (sometimes within 24 hours).  

The strange thing is this...I've not taken any Valtrex since the first day and it looks as though the patches that looked inflamed are much more red today (even though they somewhat cleared up all last week).  Something to consider is I didn't have sex last week, nor did I masturbate.  I did have sex this past weekend (protected) and also masturbated, which may explain why it's more red today?  Anyway, my doctor suggested I see a urologist to get his opinion.

I went to the urologist, explained everything, and he examined me and told me right away that what I showed him today wasn't herpes, even in the healing phases.  I asked him if it was something like balanitis or dermatosis and he said that those terms basically just mean any kind of inflammation and to not look too much into it.  Just confused as to why one doctor could be certain, and the others giving me feedback stating that I don't have anything.  It's still red beneath my foreskin, and I dumped rubbing alcohol on the red patch today which burned like hell, but other than that I still see no blisters or sores, just redness.

Thought I'd share the update.  Thanks for reading.
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