Avatar universal

Irritated genitals for a year, several negative tests

I've been experiencing irritation on the base of my penis as well as the scrotum for a while now, maybe for a year or so. No blisters or lesions as far as I can tell, and I self-evaluate when the irritation feels worse than other days. I do notice that there is redness in the areas mentioned when a shine light there; I am dark-skinned, so it is sometimes hard to see.

I've gotten tested about 5 times throughout this year via STDCheck for the following, and have gotten negative test results every time (latest round of tests was November 15th, 2019):
    HIV Type 1
    HIV Type 2
    Herpes 1
    Herpes 2
    Hepatitis A
    Hepatitis B
    Hepatitis C

I have also visited my dermatologist and was prescribed Exelderm with no success. I do have another appointment scheduled with him in January.

Should I be worrying about STDs at this point? I am sexually active, but only after test results confirm that I am free of them.

If these are not symptoms of an STD, then what else could it be? What things can I do at home to relieve myself of this irritation while I wait for my appointment?
2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
207091 tn?1337709493
I can't think of any STD that would cause your symptoms. However, Exelderm is an antifungal, and I was going to suggest a fungal infection. Did it improve at all while you were using it?

It could also be eczema, dermatitis, an allergic reaction to just about anything that comes near that area - laundry detergent, soap, shaving cream if you shave, wax if you wax, toilet paper, some fabric in your underwear, lichen planus (though that usually causes bumps), lube, condoms, etc.

How far into January do you have to wait for the appt? The only things I can tell you to do, not knowing what's causing it and certainly not wanting to make it worse, are to use a gentle, scent- and dye-free cleanser, use scent- and dye-free laundry detergent, as well as the same in toilet paper. Gently pat the area dry after a shower.

If you are inspecting yourself, limit that to once a day at the most. You could be causing more irritation every time you look.

Call the derm and ask to be put on a cancellation list. This is a list that they might keep so when people cancel appts, they can call other patients and get them filled. Sometimes it means you have to be ready at the last minute, but it's worth it if it cuts your waiting time a lot.

Helpful - 0
Thank you for the response.

It seemed to be helping a bit when I was using it. I’ve been off it for a day or so now because the medication itself would sometimes cause irritation that feels more persistent than what I’m already experiencing. I normally put some on the problem areas fresh out of the shower, after drying off.

I am only waiting until the 7th. The office never said anything, but I assume they’re closed for most of Christmas week. And ok, great, I will look into that. Do you have any brands that you recommend? Regarding the toilet paper, I make sure to wipe from front to back and have never accidentally touched the areas giving me grief.

One thing that I forgot to mention that might be helpful is that the irritation tends to flare up when my body is warmed up, (i.e. sleeping with my blanket covering my body, exercising, being outside on a hot day). I do live in Colorado, which basically has no humidity. Not sure if that’s useful, but I don’t want to leave out details.
207091 tn?1337709493
Yeah, the holidays are probably pushing things back.

I'm assuming it's cold in Colorado right now, and given that it's reacting to hot and cold, and maybe sweating when you're sleeping and when you're exercising, I'd go with fungus or eczema. Do you sleep with underwear on or off? Try the opposite of whatever you do now.

If you get your body washes at the drug store or grocery store like most of us, try Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash, or Ivory soap or body wash. Those are both very gentle. You can also try a soap-free cleanser, like Cetaphil Ultra Gentle Body Wash. Look at any body wash carefully to make sure it isn't loaded with scents you don't need. Our bodies don't need to smell like lavender or a rain forest.

My skin reacts to everything, and I use Tide or All scent- and dye-free detergent. Really, my clothes come out the same with both, and for me, it depends on which one the store has. If you use dryer sheets, Bounce has scent and dye free dryer sheets. Other brands do too, but I only do my laundry, and Bounce is the only one I've found that comes in the smaller size.

Since the cream caused more irritation at times, I wouldn't put anything else on it right now, and this will give it time to do it's thing before you see the derm on the 7th. If it's going to get bad, let it get bad so they can see how bad it gets for you. I know that sucks, but it may help you in the long run.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Helpful - 0
The irritation feels worse while wearing underwear in bed, so I’ve switched to no underwear with some success, especially straight out of the shower. However, the blanket I have does get my body very warm, so the irritation does come back at some point.

Ok, I will look into those products. Thank you.

Just for my understanding, should I go back to applying the Exelderm until the appointment, or should I stay off of it to see how bad it gets?

I suppose my next question is, should I be worried about STDs at all? Is it overkill to get another round of tests considering the amount of times I’ve already done them? I’m fairly confident that I don’t have one, but these symptoms make me think otherwise.
I can't tell you whether or not to continue or stop a medication. How long were you supposed to use it? Did you stop before you were supposed to?

You've had 5 different rounds of STD testing. They have all been negative. You don't need another round.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the STDs / STIs Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
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.