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Does this sound like herpes?


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Had a protected encounter. Two days later experienced itching at the base of my shaft for about a week. Then my whole scrotum sac dried up. Went to multiple doctors and the majority said jock itch. 

Did a full sti panel about 35 days later everything negative except hsv1 positive igg level 40.86. Went to two separate dermatologist and one said puritis, and the other said intertrigo then switched his mind to contact dermatitis. Fast forward 5 months later dryness all went away but I have constant irritation on my scrotum and pink skin. I just has never felt the same after this encounter. Every doctor I ask about herpes always says no herpes is a cluster of blisters and you don’t have that. So I’m lost and I have no clue apparently just like the doctors. Does this sound like this could be herpes? Just can’t figure out five months later why I’m still having constant irritation. I Would really appreciate some feed back. Thank you. 

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Hey there @Surferdude3536,

Sounds like quite the confusing journey! With the symptoms you're describing and the variety of diagnoses from different doctors, I totally get how you could feel lost in all of this.

Herpes typically presents with blisters that eventually burst and scab over, and your symptoms don't exactly fit that bill, especially with a protected encounter and tests coming back the way they did. The high HSV-1 IgG level indicates exposure to the virus at some point, but it doesn't necessarily mean your current symptoms are related to that, especially since HSV-1 more commonly affects the oral area (genital HSV-1 is common, too, but mostly gets passed oral-to-genital, more rare to pass it genital-to-genital).

Skin conditions, especially in sensitive areas like the scrotum, can be tricky and sometimes take a while to resolve completely. It could be a range of things from dermatitis to a fungal infection, or just irritation from friction or contact with an irritant. It's great that you're seeking opinions from dermatologists; they're your best bet for figuring out skin issues.

If you're still experiencing constant irritation, it might be worth exploring other non-STD related skin conditions further or even seeing if there's an allergy or sensitivity at play. Sometimes, a change in skincare products, laundry detergents, or even fabric types can make a big difference.

In the meantime, try to keep the area clean and dry, avoid any potential irritants, and maybe use a gentle, unscented moisturizer to help with the dryness and irritation. And if you haven't yet, maybe a follow-up with a dermatologist or even an allergist could give you some more clarity.

Hang in there, and keep advocating for yourself with your doctors. Your comfort and health are important, and there's an answer out there for you.

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@mr_hopp

So my dermatologist won’t do a biopsy because he says everything looks pretty good down there. Even though I told him I still have constant irritation( sensitive skin) down there. He prescribed 2 months of Doxy. But I already took a month of it before which did nothing. Do you possibly know of anyone with genital HSV1 with these kind of symptoms without blisters that last this long? (5plus months) I already spent thousands on Dr. who have pretty much zero clue and haven’t helped at all. Any other recommendations as to who could help me at this point? just trying to find out if this is from herpes or something else. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you. 

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Hey @Surferdude3536,

I hear you, it's totally frustrating when you're doing everything you can, seeing specialists, and still not finding relief or clear answers. It's not common for genital HSV1 to cause constant irritation without typical outbreaks, but everyone's body responds differently to the virus. It's possible, but given your situation, it might be something else contributing to your symptoms.

Since the dermatologist hasn't found clear signs of a skin condition that could be biopsied, and antibiotics haven't helped, it might be time to consider other specialists. Have you thought about seeing an allergist? Sometimes skin irritation can be related to allergic reactions or sensitivities that aren't obvious. Also, a specialist in infectious diseases could provide another perspective, especially if you're concerned about an ongoing viral impact.

Expanding the types of specialists you consult could open up new avenues for diagnosis and treatment. Also, consider revisiting your current care strategies like getting a second opinion by another dermatologist or getting retested for herpes with a Western Blot test — sometimes a small adjustment can make a big difference. 

Notes:

  • My mother is now in hospice with end-stage cancer, so I am at her house a lot these days helping where I can until she passes. Thank you in advance for understanding if I am not as quick to respond as I normally would be. This is a precious and bittersweet time …
  • This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

Helpful resources:

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