Can itching around my groin area and bumps between scrotum and anus be signs of herpes?
User rating for this question
Hi Doctors, Im 32 years old, Male. I seem to have some skin problem around groin area. Not sure what the cause is. Once in 2 or 3 months, I get one large bump/blister/boil. It grows slowly over a week and then takes pinkish shape. It is painful when touched or contacted during activities like sitting and walking depending upon the location where it appears. Later it opens up and heals slowly in a week. Currently is on my scrotum and previously it had appeared on both thighs near groin area and once on the penis surface and once between scrotum and anus. Whenever it happens, the whole even starts and ends in 2 weeks time. In total, I would have had about 8 to 10 such times for as long as i can remember. I am able to recall how many years before it started. Also, I have a persistent itching sensation around groin area. It aggravates in the evening. Not sure if this itching sensation is related to the blister i was talking about. I am bit worried as it could be something like herpes as i had different partners in the past and not sure about their conditions. Please help.
Posted Fri, 7 Feb 2014 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 44 minutes later
Brief Answer: Recurrent Folliculitis; Apply mupirocin or fucidin Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for posting your query to Healthcare Magic. I can understand your concern for skin problem around groin area. After reading your query with diligence and analyzing the pictures at its best I can make out that you are suffering from the problem of "Recurrent Folliculitis". To tell you simply - This is a condition of inflammation and infection of the hair root and oil gland attached to it. To explain it medically, we have hair all over our body which have opening of the oil glands attached to it. By many a factors these hair root and oil gland can become inflamed and infected leading to folliculitis. The reason for the inflammation and infection of the area is due to the fact that our body harbor mutiple types of bacteria on the skin which are known as “Normal flora” of the skin. A bacteria “Staphylococcus aureus” is also a part of that flora, but as soon as there is some break in the skin or trivially also due to bit ups and downs in immunity, the bacteria gets access into the skin and causes the aforesaid process of inflammation and infection. When it is superficial it heals without any problem, but when it is deep it causes lot of pain and swelling around the area. In general these persist for few weeks and heals without any problem. After a period of time our immunity prevents the further formation and inflammation. The main concern is when it is occurring frequently and regularly. I would like ask certain relevant questions with the condition so that I can rule out important cause of the same: 1. Do you apply any kind of oil or use any kind of moisturizing cream on body surface. 2. Any other skin problems or any recent history of any illness. 3. Exposure to heat and humidity in last few months or your job profile. 4. Any previous history of taking some medications especially antibiotics in last 6 months. 5. Any history of some systemic disease like diabetes in family or have you gone for your sugar check. 6. Any stressful event in last 6 months. There are certain important tips regarding your problem: 1. Do not pinch, pop or even try to touch any of the area of boils. 2. Kindly avoid scratching any area of normal skin also, as it leads to minor entry points for the entry of bacteria. 3. Wear cotton clothes and cotton undergarments to be changed two times a day. 4. Maintain proper hygiene and take two times daily bath. 5. Avoid any kind of stress, even for this condition also as stress is one of the very important factor playing role in our immunity (making it low) so prone for infections. Yoga, meditations and simple walk do help a lot in improving immunity. 6. For the boils present now, you can do warm saline compresses (1 glass of water and pinch of salt in it) for 2-3 times a day. If I were your treating dermatologist then would have suggested you to apply plain antibacterial cream such as fusidic acid or mupirocin (latest is retapamulin) and to take pain killer tablet by mouth for reducing the intensity of pain and redness. If these are enlarging and painful, then along with above mentioned measures you would require a course of oral antibiotics (best after culture and sensitivity of pus) under medical advice. If at all you take oral antibiotic, then do take proper dose and full course of antibiotics (as improper dosing and schedule leads to antibiotic resistance and then recurrent nature of the situation). Eat healthy and nutritious food to improve your immunity at its best because is the most important factor in reducing and eliminating any infection from the body. Regards Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia MD (Dermatology & STD)
Follow-up: Can itching around my groin area and bumps between scrotum and anus be signs of herpes? 1 hour later
Hi Doctor, First of all thank you very much for your detailed and quick response. I would be really greatful for this. Below are the details that you have asked for. Before answering doctor, May I ask you to explain me little bit more on my queries below? 1) Before getting this blister on scrotum, I got similar one on top of my penis surface (in middle shaft). But there are no hairs on shaft, so I am wondering how it can be classified as Folliculitis. This might be a silly question but still wanted to get it clarified from you. 2) May I also know how this blister is ruled out to be herpes? I am asking because as I wrote in my initial query, I had an sexual encounter once in the past (with condom). But to be XXXXXXX I am not sure if I started to get these blisters after that incident or even much before that. But this problem is there for me for few years but just that I got 2 incidentes in matter of last months whereas before there used to be a long gap. Your answers would put me at ease. 3) Is our conversation private doctor or this whole conversation would be publicized in the website for others to see? I am bit worried and request this to remain private. 1. Do you apply any kind of oil or use any kind of moisturizing cream on body surface. Answer: I do not use any cream at this point in time. But I was Vaseline and Nivya body lotion for 2 years between 2011 and 2012 as I was not in India and working in Europe. I needed it to keep my skin good during cold seasons. Also, I have stopped using coconut oil for my hair in 2007 (I was using on the basis of a dermatologist as I went to him for a scalp itching and sever dandruff problem which he examined and concluded by saying that the dandruff like thing was actually due to a fungal infection. He suggested me not use oil hereafter and also take shampoo bath on a daily basis which I have been following ever since. That problem did not surface again. 2. Any other skin problems or any recent history of any illness. Answer: I always believed that my skin is very sensitive for a very long time, because when i was in my teen age, I had lot of pimples on my face that left many scars and also similar pimples on my shoulder. Now I dont have pimples but scars remain on my face. I had chickenpox when i was 15 years old. But the Important problem that I faced in recent days is, From March-2013 till November-2013 for about 8 months, I had a very sever itchy skin mostly during evening and especially after returning from office and remove my cloths, it used to keep me sleepless. There were no rashes or any sort of visibile issues on my skin. The itch used to appear on random places but mostly on thighs and hip. During this episode, I was outside india and could not get tested in foriegn country due to language problem. But I did visit india for a week during the episode and consulted the dermatologist near my office. Though he did not tell me the exact reason for my problem, he said it is a common allergic condition and then prescribed me 2 tablets that he asked me to take when problem occurs. The tablet names are "Dazet" and "Mebryl". These tables used to make feel very drowsy but helped me stay away from this itch for just 1 week (after taking these 2 tablets only once). When the itch returns after a week, I used to take another dose. This continued till November 2013. By this time I would have used these tablets about 10 times in total. But the surprising thing was, after i returned from foreign country to India, I did not get the sever itching problem like before, meaning getting itchiness after removing cloths at home. I did not have to take those tablets also. I checked the doctor again to explain this change, he said it could be due to some allergic reaction to the food that i was taking over there and suggested me to take a complete food allergy test (I attached the report here). The report showed that I had allergic to YEAST. It made sense to me because I had bread for breakfast almost every day and also drank beer with friends more often which I dont do in India. After I returned to India, automatically, my food habit got changed to Indian diet like Idly/Dosa for breakfast, rice for lunch etc. Also, I did not take alcohol or beer since November 2013. Just to highlight, though I did not get that sort of an Itch, I have been having the Itch around my groin area (mostly) and on my hands, chest occasionally in last 10 days. Only change in my diet was that I included lot of fruits as I wanted to exercise daily and keep myself fit (I started jogging from 1st january 4 times a week and started eating fruites and mostly veg food since then on daily basis). The Blister in my scrotum surfaced during this itchy episode. 3. Exposure to heat and humidity in last few months or your job profile. Answer: I stay in southindia since november 2013 where the weather is bit cold and I can notice my skin especially by fingers very dry. But I did not take any creame for that. 4. Any previous history of taking some medications especially antibiotics in last 6 months. Answer: Apart from Dazet and Mebryl that I mentioned above, I did not take any medicines. Couple of times I would have taken calpol for headache in last 6 months. 5. Any history of some systemic disease like diabetes in family or have you gone for your sugar check. Answer: My dad is a sugar patient and takes medicines for that. He developed it at the age of 53. I did takeup a health checkup package in December 2013 after returning to india as I had a palpitation once during November. The doctors said it was due to a stress (I was in a panicked situation at that time of palpitation due to work related issue). As part of that they did basic cardio checkup and serum lipid testing. Cardiologist said the reports look normal, sugar levels were also normal, but my cholesterol was at borderline (Total - 215, HDL-48, LDL-159), For this they did not prescribe any medicines and asked me to include fruits in food and do regular workout (as highlighted above) 6. Any stressful event in last 6 months. Answer: As mentioned above, I have gone thru a big stressful period for couple of months due to work related issue and then started to worry about the palpitation a lot as I thought it could be a serious issue. During my health checkup last month, doctors also told me that I am very anxious about my health that increases my anxiety level quite frequently. I agree to that because, since that palpitation incident i started worry a lot about my health and get panicked for every small symptom. As you would have guessed, seeing this recurrent blister got me panicked again. Because as I explained in my original post, I had an sexual exposure (protected) in the past and I got worried now thinking that this blisters could be herpes.
Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 3 hours later
Brief Answer: No chance of herpes Detailed Answer: Hello young man, Welcome to the forum again and thanks for detailed information. After getting all the information let me help you out in all of your queries: - I would like to add one important diagnosis of “scabies” in yourself as a cause of folliculitis. As you gave history of penile lesion along with itching in hands and chest area- so scabies can be one important cause for the type of eruption you have in addition to other of the causes. Scabies is a mite infection which resides in the superficial skin and causes Folliculitis sort of eruptions along with night itching. It is worth to apply anti-scabies cream such as permethrin 5% all over body below neck for 12 hours once only and the repeat application can be done after 7 days. Apply the complete cream in a single application. It will atleast take care of scabies as a cause of the bumps. Get your complete clothes including inner clothes and linens o be washed properly. - For the part of Folliculitis on penile area- you should know that we have thick and thin hair all over body and there are hair glands attached to all these hair follicles. On the penile area also there are very fine hair and oil glands attached to it. These can get irritated and infected by variety of causes including heat, humidity, repeated touching, increased blood sugar and by scabies mite also. So you can get that you should not touch or repeatedly fiddle in and around the areas. - Even if we rule out scabies, then also due to stress factor (which reduces immunity) along with higher sensitivity of the skin you can get these types of eruptions. - Regarding possibility of herpes- As I already told it is basically Folliculitis which is bacterial in origin. No virus can cause such type of eruptions. To tell you medically - Herpes lesions manifest it as small vesicles (fluid filled blisters) which remain for just a day or two and then form ulcers which are quite painful. These ulcers then heal in next 5-7 days. To begin with also these vesicles are quite painful and itchy with discomfort and once the vesicles burst in a day or two then the ulcers which are formed are quite painful for next 4-5 days. So the symptoms can never go unnoticed. It is typically seen as "fluid filled multiple vesicles present closely in a grouped manner" which you can see on net as a ready reference. So you can rest assured for the possibility of herpes for sure. Additionally you should now that herpes occurs within 5-14 days of unprotected intercourse. So ease out your mind for the possibility of herpes!!! - As a general policy I do not know your name or personal information and there fore it does reel any identity of yourself even to me also. What I know is that you are a young man of 32 years with the complaints you have enumerated. But even then I will take care of the thing that our conversation should remain strictly confidential. Finally I reassure you again about the simplicity of the problem and not being herpes at all. I hope this clears all your doubts. Tell me if you have any further quires. Wish you good health with regards, Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia (MD - Skin & Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
Follow-up: Can itching around my groin area and bumps between scrotum and anus be signs of herpes? 1 hour later
I cannot thank you enough doctor! You have really made me understand very clearly and I feel much better now. I can also sleep well with peace of mind. Thanks for your help once again doctor. I will do the testing for scabies as you suggested and will get it treated with the way you explained. Good night doctor (I believe you are in india and it's too late in the night !). Thank you again, cheers!
Answered by Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia 18 minutes later
Brief Answer: Relieve your tensions and be relaxed Detailed Answer: Hello young man, I am really happy and relaxed that you are finally out of your tensions regarding herpes especially. My all best wishes for you. If you have any further queries I will be glad to help or if not then close the discussion and rate the answer. Cheers to your healthy life ahead!!! with regards, Dr. Sanjay Kumar Kanodia (MD - Skin & Sexually Transmitted Diseases)