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What causes recurrent lesions on penis shaft?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 5133 Questions
Hi, I have a small cluster of brownish scab-like (lesions?) which have been present on the shaft of my penis for several years. I have had multiple full rounds of swab and blood testing for major STDs. The first time I brought this up while testing, the doctor did not diagnose (and all the tests came back negative), but suggested it was from rough intercourse or masturbation. A short while afterwards, the scabs fell off, seemed to heal and most was all good. I moved to another city, and did not have insurance for a follow up... and from time to time they reappear. Then the scabs fall off and heal. It happens in cycles. During my last exam, they were not highly visible enough for the doctor to tell me what was what, and pretty much said the same thing the first doctor did. Wait, see if it heals, wait for the test results... they come back negative, and I don't know what it is, or what to do. Any suggestions as to what it could be?
Posted Mon, 20 Jan 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Herpes genitalis! Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you so much for trusting us with your health query. I am so sorry to hear about these recurrent lesions you have. I know it must have been very disturbing to have such lesions on your penis. I have taken a look at the attached image and have reviewed the clinical information you have provided, these lesions are very suggestive of genital herpes. These are recurrent painful ulcers that appear and generally get healed without any specific medical care over a few weeks. Please, talk with your doctor and ask for specific tests to test or herpes infections. The IgM ad the IgG antibodies should be assessed to confirm this suspicion. I hope you find this helpful. I wish you well. Thank you so much for using our services and please do feel free to ask for more information if need. Thanks. Dr. Ditah, MD.
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Follow-up: What causes recurrent lesions on penis shaft? 1 hour later
Thank you for the response. I am curious if you can provide some insight into why my blood and swab tests would come back negative for herpes if it is in fact herpes? Is there anything else it could be?
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 11 minutes later
Brief Answer: Not typical Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for following up with me. How soon after these lesions was the test done? Also, what antibodies where being looked for. Early infections need IgM for diagnosis while long standing infections are diagnosed by evaluating IgG. It is very rare to report negative test results despite suggestive physical findings with herpes. Double check to see what faction of antibody they have been using to establish this diagnosis. I hope this helps. I wish you well. Feel free to ask for more information. Dr. Ditah, MD.
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