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After outbreak - skin on my penis does not go back to normal


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Hello, it's my first post on this forum. I am from Germany and I am really greatful that I found you guys - it seems that the knowlegde of genital herpes seems to be considerably higher in the US than in Germany. Same seems to be true about the openness in which people share their problems with having the virus.

Anyways, here is my huge problem (sorry, that it's kind of a long story): I have been diagnosed with genital herpes in 2009, since then i had on average 3 outbreaks a year which I could inititially manage well by just using aciclovir creme which my urologist had prescribed me. When I noticed an outbreak I used the creme for about 7 days (5 times daily). After that all symptoms were gone and the skin looked perfectly normal again.

However, probably starting in 2014, I noticed that the creme did not seem to work that well any more. It took longer and longer for the ulcers to disappear. In January 2015, I had an outbreak after in the course of which - unusal for me - after 14 days the skin on my penis still did not look normal again; it kept being red, and even though the ulcers were somewhat dried out, you could still cleary see them. Slightly alarmed, I went to see a dermatologist and he told me that I had an eczema that had developed after the herpes. He prescribed me a creme containing cortisone and told me to use it for 14 days. I did as he told me, and yes, afterwards the skin was looking normal again. But unfortunately only for a short time. Then the redness and itching came back again.

And that is where my nightmare started - until then all outbreaks had been in the same manner: itching, then dots, spreading out. Now I had just redness and itching, but no ulcers. I went back to the dermatolgist and he told me again that it was an exzema and that I should use the same cortisone creme again for 14 days and afterwards another creme containing urea.

Anyways, to make a long story short: Ever since my skin in the affected area seems to be somehow "damaged" in that sense, that it does not look "normal" anymore. It always seems to be irritated, slightly red, and it is also continuously itchy (sometimes more, sometimes less). I just do not know what is going on any more. Now in the end of April, I clearly had another herpes outbreak in that irritated area, and it was much graver than anything I experienced before. In the meantime, I asked the doctor to prescribe tablets. Now, I took Aciclovir tablets (800 mg twice for 5 days, then 200 mg 5 times daily for another seven days). Additionally I use cink creme. However, now, 16 days later and after having taken the tablets, the skin in the affected area (even though it got better) is still red, itchy and irritated. And also the ulcers are somewhat dried, they are still visible as bumbs. From what I read so far in the internet it is rather unusal that a recurrent outbreak does last so long. It is really driving me into depression that my skin condition does not seem to go back to normal again. Thus, finally, my questions: What does that mean? Could it really be that the outbreak is still ongoing? And are the areas still contagious after that long a time (the dermatologist told me that herpes is only contagious for 3-4 days after an outbreak)? Should I consider going back to taking tablets? Does anyone have any advice on possible further treatment, also for curing the continuously irritated skin? I am also interested in your opinion about the dermatologists assessment that herpes can easily develop into an exzema after an outbreak? Has anyone of you ever heard of that? Thank you very much in advance and best regards from Berlin ....

 

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There are people, such as myself who seen to have lingering obs that stick around just as redness of the skin. Using steroid cream on a herpes location OB is not recommended, as it suppresses your body's immune response on the skin, which may be why it has been so exacerbated further since treatment.

 

Outside of that and taking meds, there's not much else anyone can do for those of us in this situation. Herpes is all about our immune system and some of us either have a compromised immune system or one that is complacent w the virus and we're not having fthe proper immune response to the virus. The virus is able to trick some immune systems into believing the virus is a part of our normal physiology, which makes it go unchecked and reappear frequently or almost always.

 

Outside of taking Antivirals, stopping use of steroid cream, the only other things you can do to see if it helps are as follows:

 

Stop drinking coffee

Reduce stress in your life.

Lots of sleep

Minimize processed foods

Stop nuts, chocolate, friend foods or any other sweets

Tape Epsom salt baths

Spray Bactine spray on area of OB daily, multiple times a day

If you're taking any medication that has steroids in it, that can cause issues. .

Underlying health issues like autoimmune diseases can cause issues w hormone levels in your body, which results in higher inflammation and causes the virus to be more active. Those would need to be addressed.

 

I've learned to see this as my new normal or I would want to off myself if I let it get to me. I recently just had like 30 little blisters that won't go away a week or more later and I've had this almost two yrs. I found putting powder on to keep it dry seemed to help w the irritation and things calming down.

 

I know this is depressing and sucka for those of us w atypical symptoms and those of us w neuropathy, but if we focus on what we used to be, it would do us no good. I know it's hard, but try and give the above items a shot and see how that works. Hang in there. .

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Dear 2legit2quit, der janedoe,

thank you very much for your replies, it is of great help for me to get these feedbacks! It is of a great help for me! I do feel quite depressed about my current state, and which is worse on top of everything i started to develop a rather extreme anxiety disorder over the past year which is strongly related to herpes - somehow my mind is 24/7 connected to the issue. Which of course also puts me under constant stress. I also have this horrible fear of spreading the virus to my small son, and even though I read all the posts here on transmission, it somehow does not help me and calm me down.

ANyways, I do have a question about bactine, since here in Germany it is not available under that name. I did read that it contains benzalkoniumchloride, basically it is just a desinfectant used for smaller wounds and cuts, is that right?

 

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Yep, that is right. And please don't worry about spreading this to your son. Chances are really really small. This virus requires direct skin to skin contact to transmit (and not just any skin - spreading this to "normal" skin is really hard too) and the virus dies shortly after it leaves the body. Soap and water works. So, there is no chance that you spread this to him. I am having anxiety issues as well about it, and I admit I am not a 100%. However I do get cold sores occasionally on my lip and while they are annoying, I don't make them a big deal so this doesn't need to be a big deal as well. This is just a cold sore. So, let's not blow this out of proportion. Everything is gonna be fine.

 

Btw, about the discoloratuon issue, after I had an OB in my lip, sometimes it takes a while until my the effected area returns to normal colorwise. Also, sometimes the skin gets so dry, I have to moisturaize it. That is why I recommended almond oil but also coconut oil + tea tree oil works wonders as well. There is a lot of holistic medicine that you can apply. I can send you some links if you want and WCSDancer has a good knowledge about them as well.

 

Also, the cream doesn't work for me as well, I suggest if you are not on the antivirals, use them when you are having an OB, sores will heal much much faster.

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It is a disinfectant, but it also has numbing stuff in it. I have found gold bond pieder works the best as of recent w an aggressive OB I just had. It cleared all blisters in 24hra of having it on the other day. You can order gold bond extra strength on Amazon. ..

 

As for your son, I'm sure you're not brushing your genitals up against his, so it's impossible for him to catch it. There are women who have herpes who give vaginal birth every day and do not pass it, yet this kids body doesn't rub up against your genitals at all and yet you think he's some how going to contract it? How do you figure? @wcadancer2010 has had kids vaginally w H and NEVER passed it to her kids.

 

Are you taking anything for your anxiety?

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Thank you two very much for your very helpful comments and advice!! It does feel extremely good to communicate to someone with herpes experience, finally. I got myself some stuff for my immune system. It contains several vitamins (among them vitamin e) and several mineral nutrients, among them zinc, iron, selenium, iodine and others. I will see how that works for start. I will also try to get some gold bond on amazon. Concerning my anxiety disorder - it is linked to a obssessive-compulsive disorder that has surfaced over the last years. Since my last outbreaks, I act compulsively e.g. when it comes to disinfecting my hands, wearing gloves when washing underwear, showering and things. I know this sounds super crazy and it also does feel super crazy. I started psychotherapy in December last year, but somehow I have not yet reached back to a stage where I can put my knowledge into action. I just have this powerful feeling of being contaminated and contagious.

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Dear all, thanks so much for your support. It's a good feeling to have you guys around. I just gotta learn how to cope with the situation adequately. Definitely, I need to make considerable changes in my lifestyle (food, less stress a.s.o.), als well as finding better remedies for curing my outbreaks. And your suggestions are really helfpul in doing so. Thanks again for that.

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  • 5 months later...

Hello. I have a similar situation. I just had one outbreak that was incorrectly diagnosed at first. Used an steroidal cream which made it worse and then used acyclovir cream and pills. The ulcers went away but I'm left with a glans that's prone to become red. A patch of my inside foreskin, where the outbreak began, has a different coloration, like the outer part of the skin never regrew. It sometimes burns, itches or hurts. I doesn't go away. I already took antibiotics and antifungal treatments. Currently I'm taking vitamins B and E and applying a skin reparing cream called Cicalfate, but until now I haven't had any improvement. This has been going on for 6 months already.

 

I'm really deppressed about this. Is this really my "new normal"? I was prone to anxiety and depression to begin with but now I'm in a very bad situation. :/

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Dear mxpdc,

 

I am sorry to hear about this. What you are describing - use of steroids, following symptoms and your psychological state - pretty much matches my personal situation. I am still struggling with my condition myself. And now I am already going into the 2nd year of it. It seems each time, I am finally getting over it (the affected skin area on my penis seems to look almost normal again), it comes back at me full force. I have constantly changing skin symptoms, itching, rash, red dots, discoloration asf. that i neved had before. Sometimes more, sometimes less. The worst part is that I am always unsure whether I am facing a new herpes outbreak with atypical symptoms - or whether it is something else altogether. I am now on acyclovir suppressive therapy but so far this did not have much impact. However, I have quit applying creams and other stuff and try to keep my mind not too occupied with my condition (which of course does not work too well). On top of everything I have developed a severe anxiety disorder and also compulsive patterns of behavior which I cannot get rid off so far. And yes, also a depression whose severity is direclty linked to these skin problems. A year ago I have started psychotherapy. But so far it did not have too much of an effect. But then, I am also going to a period of massive stress and change in my life (divorce, I quit my job and I am having to look for a new one) and I do hope, that once I have started my "new life" these symptoms will also disappear. INterestingly enough, the symptoms started to aggravate when the separation between my wife and me became increasingly obvious, so I do believe there is also a strong psychological element in it.

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Dear mister_marker,

I do think we're going through the same kind of situation. I must say that you telling me that you've been going through this for two years already bums me out. I've been trying to keep a positive attitude and think that the body has a way of regenerating itself, but this makes me think maybe this is not the case. I don't know if I should just give up already and conform to a sexless life. I just don't know what else to do.

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Just a quick question, this post has me thinking. Are you guys all uncircumcised? Im asking because one thing that helps with outbreaks and healing is getting the area dry. So, if you have foreskin, and are using creams etc, how do you do this?

 

I'm just thinking trapped moisture is probably going to extend healing time, and perhaps cause other issues. (Don't have a penis, but makes sense to me lol)

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Dear mxpdc,

 

please do not give up! It was by no means my intention to disccourage you by telling you about my situation. I also do believe that the body will eventually regenerate - but at least in my case, it cannot do so as long as my mind is still in turmoil. The

tricky thing is, that this skin condition has become a psychological burden in itself. And a massive one, in fact. It is some kind of a vicious circle.

In fact, I am having some ups (when the skin starts looking quite okay, without any visible irritations). But so far these were only short periods. As soon as I face the first stressful situation (at work, with my ex-wife a.s.o.) my skin immediately responds with outbreaks or by getting badly irritated again. I think the use of steroids has somehow harmed the skin, so it responds much easier to any kind of stress (before that i did have an ob only once a or max. twice a year!). For now, I think I would just need to have a longer stress-freed period in my life (the last two years I definitely did not have that). Then I believe, the skin would get the chance recover.

 

Dear MMissouri - I am circumcised. But on recommendation of various dermatologists I have been continously using different creams. I do believe that in the end of the day, that has aggravated the situation. Especially, of course the steroide cream. But all these other creams probably also did more harm than being any good. As for the moment, I am not using any creams any more (only sometimes a soft zink cream when there is an especially bad irritation).

 

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Dear mister_marker,

 

Sorry if I seemed so hopeless. I guess you know how this can be. The thing is it never goes away, and even when you don't feel it suddenly starts hurting again. I'm trying my best to keep calm although some days are just very difficult. I'm halfway through a very demanding master's program, asides from other issues. So, like you, I'm on a very stressful period of my life.

 

Anyways, it's good to talk to someone about this. I just hope it is something we can overcome in time.

 

To hippyherpy,

 

Do you have any experience with this kind of situation too? I'm not taking any suppressive therapy right now.

 

To MMissouri,

 

I am uncircumcised. I see the logic behind what you say but well, I just had one very bad outbreak at first and I haven't had any other. Right now I'm just dealing with very bad sequels.

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  • 2 years later...

Hi there - are there any updates from this thread? I’m having the same issue where I’m getting severe inflammation and now a burning sensation after the outbreak for weeks/months now. I was hoping there was some improvement or suggestions:-/

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