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Herpes, itchy penis, scabs, spots. Treatment ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
Hi My question is , I have had a Herpes Outbreak before the last one was end of December 2010. I have been keeping healthy and going to gym. Just 2 days ago on Monday 13th XXXXXXX i went to the gym as normal. In the evening i felt itchy at the top of my penis , i did also masturbate that night, did not notice any spots . Then yesterday it still felt itchy on shaft of my penis and near the top , my previous breakout was near the base. I noticed i had two spots no fluid in them, I applied dynamiclear to them which contains St Johns Wort ..the spots pretty much turned into a scab straight away. I then proceeded to a GUM clinic just to get it checked out. The nurse there examined me and i told her i had applied St Johns wort to the spots which had turned into a scab. She said 100% that it was not a herpes breakout , i did ask her that i had applied st johns wart to them so could that have masked it. She said that these spots could be to fritction or shower gel at the gym also that herpes would produce a yellow scab as mine were like a black scab. I just wanted to know if this could be friction from masturbationa and the gym and also that the examination from the nurse at the clinic is correct. The spots are still scabbed as i said there was no fluid. I appreciate ur response on this . Many thanks
Posted Sun, 6 May 2012 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 4 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

I agree that these spots look like irritated hair follicles after gymming and friction rub while masturbation. The scabbing has occurred because of application of St John’s wort which has caused superficial skin damage.

When signs of herpes occur, they typically appear as one or more blisters on or around the genitals or rectum. The blisters break, leaving tender ulcers (sores) that may take two to four weeks to heal the first time they occur. The blisters are preceded by tingling and numbness sensation along with pain before appearance of lesions.

If they appear again then get an evaluation done form your doctor before applying wart remover. Also follow these simple lifestyle measures:

1)      Avoid rough intercourse and use a water based lubricant during intercourse or masturbation.
2)     Wear cotton underwear and avoid using perfumed soaps, bubble baths and toiletries.
3)     Change underwear daily, wash underwear in hot water and double rinse (to remove any irritating detergent) and take adequate nutrition and sleep.

For these lumps, the scabs should soon fall off. You can also apply a topical antibiotic cream like Mupirocin/ Neosporin on the bumps after consulting your doctor.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Herpes, itchy penis, scabs, spots. Treatment ? 8 hours later
Hi Doctor

Thanks for your reply, i just wanted to question one thing before i went to see the nurse i had applied St Johns Wort onto these spots they did not not look like blisters or ulcers and from what i know herpes ones have clear fluid present ..but as i know this could have been a very mild outbreak . I am not sure but what i wanted to ask is that even though i applied the St Johns Wart to them and then showed the nurse could this have masked the outbreak as it turned into a black scab. The nurse who seem very experienced said that it was not Herpes as herpes would produce a yellowish scab is this correct . Is it possible for me to send u a pic so u can examine or is this not allowed.

Many thanks
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 18 hours later

The spots appeared after gymming and not after a sexual intercourse. Moreover herpes sores are very painful, itchy, blisters filled with clear fluid which after a few days turns into open sores and scabs over. Applying St John's wort may have masked the symptoms but the initial symptoms of pain, tingling and blister formation were not there. Hence it is less likely to be herpes.

Herpes presents with yellow scabs after the sores break open but as i mentioned earlier, applying St John's wort has caused a chemical burn sort of skin picture and the black scab is due to this skin damage.

You can definitely send a picture at YYYY@YYYY with sub: “ATTN Dr Jasvinder singh” .

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Herpes, itchy penis, scabs, spots. Treatment ? 4 hours later
The spots appeared the next day after gymming ..but the area felt itchy in the evening the day i went to gym and yes i did masturbate. before i put the st johns wort i could see the spots developing but could not see and fluid . Yes also after i applied the st johns wort they scabbed up pretty much straight away . I know the nurse at the clinic said that 100% it was not herpes outbreak . I have sent you the pictures to examine one picture is when the scab was on , the second picture is the scab has fallen off but it just looks like bare skin and its seems different to when i had a herpes breakout in December , please examine and thank u for your helpful answers . i await your reply. thank u
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 7 hours later

Thanks for writing back.

Although you had itchy feeling in the area in the evening it is less likely to be herpes because even irritated hair follicles and folliculitis after friction rub of the sweaty skin with clothes and masturbation can cause such symptoms. I have seen the pictures and they are less likely to be herpes.

Applying St John's wort on normal skin or even small follicles can cause such a scab to form due to skin damage. The picture likes similar to skin damage rather than herpes scabs. So rest assured because it is least likely to be herpes.

Wishing you good health.

Take care and regards.

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