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Avatar universal

What is it and how did I get it???

I am a 25 yr old male. I did a big pubic area shave 2 months ago, around the pubic area plus some hairs on the shaft itself. About 2-3 weeks after the first shave, I noticed 2 tiny bumps in the growing forest of the pubic hair. It was itchy, I scratched, and one bled. Didn’t think anything of it. About 3 weeks ago I shaved again, and as of a week ago, I inspected my groin to find many of these bumps which are either new or I hadn’t noticed before: http://s943.photobucket.com/albums/ad280/unness99/?action=view&current=pic05.jpg

And on the shaft:
http://s943.photobucket.com/albums/ad280/unness99/?action=view&current=pic06.jpg
bumps are only about 1 mm-photo is very closeup.)

I though molluscum - and I talked to my roommate about a potentially shared razor as the culprit. He told me he never shaves his pubic area so that was impossible. What’s strange is that by the time I made the very first shave, I was sexually monogamous with a girlfriend of a few years. (I don’t think she cheated, and I don’t think my roommate is lying but of course ANYTHING is possible)

All my life, I have had some skin abnormalities that are not sexually related (had them since childhood), so now I am starting to think maybe it’s not molluscum or HPV but instead some kind of interaction between my previous skin condition and the shaving.
The following three pictures are of skin conditions in the genital region which I have had long before becoming sexually active (I include them so as to compare with the skin growths in question)

Dots on my scrotum which I’ve had forever: http://s943.photobucket.com/albums/ad280/unness99/?action=view&current=pic04.jpg

Extremely TINY (smaller than 1 mm) dots on my foreskin which I’ve had forever:
http://s943.photobucket.com/albums/ad280/unness99/?action=view&current=pic02.jpg

Also I will let you know that I promise I will see a dermatologist no matter what the response is here but your expert opinion is invaluable to me. Thanks SO much.

9 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome to the STD forum.  Unfortunately, we do not examine posted photos on this forum.  Dr. Hook and I are not dermatologists; and in any case, in our view this comes too close to practicing medicine from a distance.  Not all MedHelp moderators feel the same.  Dr. Rockoff (Dermatology forum) does look at posted photos, so you might consider re-posting your question there.

From your description, I doubt you have any STD, and I am inclined to suspect folliculitis triggered by shaving.  Examine the individual lesions closely.  If most lesions surround a hair (i.e., a hair emanting from the center), then folliculitis is really the only possible explanation.  Molluscum contagiosum lesions are not hair-associated.

I'll be happy to comment further if you would like to report back after you have seen the dermatologist.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Sorry to hear that about the pictures, I respect your decision though. Since I was really interested in whether or not it is an STD I justified posting here instead of the dermatology expert section.

Anyways, maybe a more verbal description could shed additional light on the issue which may change your opinion. With the newly discovered mystery dots, some appear to be associated with hair follicle while many others appear to have no hair follicle association at all, which is disconcerting( unlike the folliculitis on my legs which essentially occurs on every follicle and not elsewhere). Also, I should note that  the dots in the shaving area, while multiplied, have not grown in size in the last two months- IF this were an STD -that would make it sound more like moscullum than HPV, right?

Only problem with the moscullum account is that the only real possibility is that my my roommate lied(given the incubation time of a few weeks to a month or so, I KNOW neither  I now more girlfriend had any outside sexual contact)

In light of this new information, any thoughts?
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Unchanging lesions for 2 months doesn't sound much like either MC or folliculitis.  The association of even some lesions with hairs, even if all are not, also seems to make molluscum less likely.  Maybe some sort of chronic version of folliculitis?  Conceivably warts, but the location -- entirely in hair-bearing areas, and apparently fairly widespread within your pubic area, scrotum, etc (if I correctly understand your description).

That you and your partner didn't have other partners doesn't rule out molluscum contagiosum.  It sometimes appears mysteriously; and some cases may not be sexually acquired at all, especially if someone has regular close contact with young children.  For example, did you or your partner babysit or work in a daycare center?

In summary, my bet is that this is somehow related to the shaving and is more likely some variation on folliculitis.  In any case, the only way to sort it out is to see a provider, such as a dermatologist.
Avatar universal
Extremely interesting. This conversation is providing much for me to talk about with the dermatologist, who I am seeing Thursday morning.

Upon very very close inspection, many more of the bumps appear to have some sort of hair association than I had previously thought. A few have a hair growing right out the center, and others have a hair growing out of the side/bottom. Although warts usually appear on the penis and not the pubic region, I am a religious condom wearer and if I did have sex with someone where I caught this long ago, I would have gotten an std on the perimeter only- due to condom usage. Having said that, there are a couple bumps near the base of the shaft- one has a hair growing out the side/bottom.

Let me ask for clarification on something you wrote in your last post. If I understood correctly you seemed to suggest that hairs growing out of molluscum are rarer than hairs growing out of warts. However, I think I read in another forum on this site that warts essentially NEVER have hairs growing out of them. So, which of the two is more likely to have hairs growing on them, HPV warts or molluscum?

By the way, from doing extensive research online, I am certain that the condition on my legs(which I’ve had since childhood) is keratosis pilaris, and that the white bumps(I’ve had since childhood) on my scrotum and penis can either be described as Fordyce spots or sebaceous prominence. I am hoping that perhaps my new development is a complication of one of these two pre-existing conditions. On the other hand, they also look alot like many of the molluscum pics I saw online….

*Sigh* I’m afraid that with so many unfortunate skin conditions to tease apart down there it will be impossible for anyone to make an accurate diagnosis. I will let you know what the dermatologist has to say after my thursday morning appointment.  Thank you for your help.

239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
"Which of the two is more likely to have hairs growing on them, HPV warts or molluscum?" That's splitting hairs in the extreme (no pun intended). Probably no difference; both rare to never.

"I’m afraid...it will be impossible for anyone to make an accurate diagnosis":  I disagree. Most likely s/he will know within a minute exactly what it is.

It's time for you to stay off the internet about this. It's a waste of your time and emotional energy. This thread is over until you report the outcome of your dermatology appointment.
Avatar universal
I dropped my pants at the dermatologist and said “Molluscum, or folliculitis?” He instantly he replied “oh that’s molluscum”. I asked about the hair follicle thing, and he said that indeed molluscum can be at the hair follicle. He simply said “follicultis doesn’t look like that”- and I didn’t ask him any more about what he meant by that. I also pointed out that while they have grown in number, they have not grown in size- his response was “they typically don’t”- perhaps he was referring to adults only, I’m not sure.

I hope that other readers of this post and you, doctor, have learned something new about Molluscum here(given my dermatologist a is not a quack- I think-and hope- he is not)-namely, that there can be hair involved in molluscum. He said that he sees molluscum in children about daily, and sees it in adults about weekly.

He then gave me several options for what to do then and there. Since I have little ones  many of which were scarring over(possibly due to my treatment with apple cider vinegar for the past week) he felt that manually scraping them was the best, easiest option. He scraped em off, but due to my bad skin generally, there were a few spots which he wasn’t quite sure on- I just told him to scrape everything off, and he did. However, after going home I noticed some of the super tiny ones he missed, and I scraped those off. He prescribed veregen, and although I brought up aldara he said that studies with aldara mostly used children and were not double blind- sounds like he was repeating a veregen sales rep line to me but hey why not I’ll try it.(However- in defense of aldara, the effect size in the article I read was much greater than the effect size touted by veregen- and really isn’t single blind good enough for this kind of thing?- alright I’ve kind of outed myself as a scientist- but these things need to be considered when choosing a medication to prescribe or use)

Pharmacy will have to order veregen though since I guess it is not commonly prescribed. In the mea time I will be washing with Dr. Bronners tea tree oil soap, and I have some pure tea tree oil which I will be mixing with water and spraying on the affected area. I’ll let you(and the assumed audience of worried people with molluscum) how this turns out…
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