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Getting pimples on waistline and upper groin area. Could it be folliculitis or genital herpes?

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Posted on Fri, 15 Feb 2013
Question: I have symptoms that may be folliculits or genital herpes and I am trying to determine which. I do have a history of occasionally getting acne/pimples in my waistline / upper groin area. In the last year I switched sexual partners and although safe sex is always practiced I am curious if I have Genital Herpes.

In the last year I have had 4 pimples or bumps in my waistline/upper pubic region. The first in late XXXXXXX '12 was somewhat large but popped easily and with some yellow pus bled rather profusely. It cleared up in a few days. The second 6 months later in mid July appeared more like a small boil about 5 inches to the right of the 1st in my upper pubic hair region. I managed to squeeze a little blood from it on the 10th day but otherwise it would not fully pop and it took 11 weeks to resolve.

The third in mid Oct was a few inches to the left of the 2nd. Smaller and less red, after 2 weeks I popped it easily and as with the first, there was a little yellow pus and a lot of blood. Due to the blood, it had a small scab afterwards and cleared up in a few days after popping.

The 4th one appeared 2 days ago, smaller than the others 1-2 inches above the site of the 3rd. It wasn't raised much but it was red I squeezed out a little blood (more the normal amount I'd expect with a pimple) and now it too has a tiny scab which is healing now.

All 4 appeared at sites with a pubic hair growing out of them. None of them were blister like- more pimple like. None of them ever burned, itched, hurt, tingled or even hurt excessively when popped. I have never had matching flu symptoms during or preceding an outbreak. They only appeared a single bumps one at a time. I never shave my pubic area.

With recent stress in my life and the fact these appear where my pants can chafe me and my history I presumed these were pimple/forms of folliculitis but the frequency, (I would say roughly double what I would normally get per year), bleeding and the long length of time the 2nd bump lasted leaves me somewhat concerned it could be genital herpes or something else. When I can afford it, I shall get tested to be safe but in the meantime I would value your opinion.
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Answered by Dr. Praveen Rodrigues (2 hours later)
Hi there.
Thank you at the outset for your detailed clinical history & description which does go a long way in helping us provide you a clear answer.
I understand your concerns albeit am happy to note you practice safe sex.
Stress can be a strange animal & lead one to believe many things however untrue.
In your particular instance, I would hedge on the condition being a 'Folliculitis' based on my years' of clinical experience & countless numbers of patients' treated.
Having said that, a more objective way is to go to the nearest laboratory & get a Herpes IgG & IGM for herpes1&2. This will tell you depending on the titres (self-explanatory & normal values given alongside) if at all any herpes infection co-exists & if so, if it was a recent or old aquisition.
Trust this helps you & understand your concerns as regards monies. In the meantime, sit tight & use a 1% silver sulfadiazime ointment that is a sulfur based antibiotic cream & can be purchased over the counter & will help allay either condition (only contraindication being if you have any sulfur allergy hitherto)!
Good Luck & trust I have cleared your doubt & given you a rationale & plan of action till you can get this particular test done. Rest Easy & continue to practice safe sex.
Cheers!!
Dr Praveen Rodrigues MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Praveen Rodrigues

Dermatologist

Practicing since :1993

Answered : 1193 Questions

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Getting pimples on waistline and upper groin area. Could it be folliculitis or genital herpes?

Hi there.
Thank you at the outset for your detailed clinical history & description which does go a long way in helping us provide you a clear answer.
I understand your concerns albeit am happy to note you practice safe sex.
Stress can be a strange animal & lead one to believe many things however untrue.
In your particular instance, I would hedge on the condition being a 'Folliculitis' based on my years' of clinical experience & countless numbers of patients' treated.
Having said that, a more objective way is to go to the nearest laboratory & get a Herpes IgG & IGM for herpes1&2. This will tell you depending on the titres (self-explanatory & normal values given alongside) if at all any herpes infection co-exists & if so, if it was a recent or old aquisition.
Trust this helps you & understand your concerns as regards monies. In the meantime, sit tight & use a 1% silver sulfadiazime ointment that is a sulfur based antibiotic cream & can be purchased over the counter & will help allay either condition (only contraindication being if you have any sulfur allergy hitherto)!
Good Luck & trust I have cleared your doubt & given you a rationale & plan of action till you can get this particular test done. Rest Easy & continue to practice safe sex.
Cheers!!
Dr Praveen Rodrigues MD