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Skin Care and Diseases

Do I have herpes or what is it?



Dear doc, About two months ago, I started to feel itching around the groin and upper lap and in the genital area. Some weeks later, it developed to intense itching in those areas, things like blisters on the penis cap and also bumps on the buttock. The bumps then spread to the scrotum. My doctor first diagnosed a skin allergy but later told me that it was a std. He had to administer Pefloxacine to me. This cleared those signs even though my body reacted to the drug with rashes all over. About a week later, I started feeling itching again, and the bumps on the buttock and the scrotum have reappeared. I don`t know what to do. I have never had sex before as I am only eighteen and I don`t trust doctors that we have here. What do you suggest the problem is and the remedy for it cause it is a very discomforting thing as I always experience itching and never feel comfortable?


Cyclic pruritus of the groin may be due to a number of disorders.  Bacterial folliculitis is among the most common.  Contact dermatitis to detergents, dyes, preservatives in clothing, irritating soaps and even fungi and yeast may cause the problems you have described.  Most patients who have herpes simplex have a prodrome of stinging and burning vesicle formation which is extremely painful with resolution over a period of days to weeks.  That diagnosis is established based on clinical findings and laboratory tests of several types.

The next time you have a recurrence of your problem, you clearly should see a board certified dermatologist who can perform the tests and culture for the herpes virus if that appears to be a problem.  It is imperative that the tests be done and proper histories be taken to identify exactly what you have.  You might keep a diary of things that touch your skin beginning with the type of detergent that you use, and association with excessive perspiration with exercise or environmental increased temperature.

In short, a careful physical exam by a qualified physician and proper lab tests will lead you to the right diagnosis.  If you do not have a board certified dermatologist in your community I am sure you can find one within an hour's drive from your home.

Good luck!


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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati