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Red Spots on Glans - Herpes?

Hi Doctor,

Last monday i had an unprotected encounter with a girl in the philippines. I am an uncircumsized 31 y/o male.

On Saturday i noticed two small red spots on the Glans of my penis, and these have since increased to five small spots.  They are not clustered together but form a horseshoe type formation.  I am concerned i may have contracted Herpes.

However, they dont look 'blister' like, rather they are just small red spots with no discharge or scabs.  They are also not raised in any way (not that i can visibly see or feel anyway).  There is no pain, but just a bit of itchiness on my foreskin, but not a the actual site itself. I have also NOT experienced any sort of fever or anything else.  

I have looked at some photos and herpes seems to develop fairly obvious blisters but i am just not sure.

I would welcome your expert advice if this sounds like a herpes infection or something else.  My thoughts are it could be balanitis, or maybe irritation from friction (i had a girl rubbing up against me thru my clothes on Friday night)


2 Responses
239123 tn?1267647614
Welcome back to the forum.

Many uncircumcised men occasionally get balanitis, the medical term for inflamation of the head of the penis, and painless red spots and itchiness are the most common symptoms of it.  More severe cases can include diffuse redness, white pus-like exudate under the foreskin, abnormal odor and, in really severe cases, erosion or ulcertation.  Balanitis can be caused by yeast or bacteria, although many have no known obvious cause -- called "nonspecific" balanitis.

If herpes infects the head of the penis, technically it is herpetic balanitis.  But as you seem to already know, herpes lesions are painful; progress rapidly (1-2 days) from red bumps (not just flat red spots) to obvious blisters, when then can erode, leaving open sores (ulcers) that typicall are very painful.

So based on your brief description, I am far more suspicious of garden-variety balantis than I am of herpes.  If you want greater certainty, you need to be professionally examined.  However, at this stage it would be reasonable to simply retract your foreskin and wash with soap and water 2-3 times daily and see if it clears up in a few days.  If it doesn't, or if you develop any of the more severe symptoms I just mentioned, definitely visit a doctor or clinic for further evaluation.

I hope this helps.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD
239123 tn?1267647614
Oh, one more thing.  What's with having unprotected sex with a partner you don't know well?  Especially coming from someone who has shown a fair level of anxiety about HIV and other STDs, as reflected in 3 other questions on this or the HIV forum in the past 2-3 years.  Please get into the condom habit and stick with it!
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