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Dr. Nair
Dr. Nair, Dermatologist
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 9190
Experience:  MBBS, MD (Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology)
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I'm a 28 yo black male. Last Friday I was in a rush when I

Customer Question

Hi there, I'm a 28 yo black male. Last Friday I was in a rush when I shaved the hair back on my penis. I have done it dozens of times over the years and rarely have even minor razor burn. However, now, a week later. I have several open, inflamed sores where I shaved (I noticed for the first time maybe Tuesday). I may have inadvertently razed the skin, but I'm very scared. How should i treat it, how long will it take to heal, and should I seek medical attention.
The sores are raised, inflamed, and depressed in the center (think of a crater or white blood cell) in the depressed center it looks like skin is missing and its oozing clear liquid.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 2 years ago.


Thank you for your question. My name is***** and I will do my best to provide a useful input.

Would a photograph of the affected area be possible at your convenience?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I hope this is clear enough. It's range best I could do on my phone.
Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the photographs. Tell me did you have sexual contact with a new partner in the last week - if so was it protected or unprotected?

Have you every had fluid filled lesions or blisters on the penis or pubic area in the past?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did have unprotected sexual contact with at least one new partner in the past week...I have never had anything like this; blisters or fluid filled lesions.However, I have more traditional razor burn on my chest, and the affected areas of the penis is only where I shaved. I used the same razor for both areas. I realize that shaving may have caused an entry site for any potential STIs :( I was very reluctant to consider an STI. I was tested on Tues., 9/1. While I do not recall a visual test for herpes, I did test positive for gonorrhea in my throat. Please let me know your thoughts. I'm very concerned!
Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the information. The photographs do not permit a detailed examination of the sores but going by what I can see and your description there are two likely possibilities - Folliculitis or Genital Herpes.

Folliculitis are bumps formed due to bacterial infection of the hair follicles - they often form after rough shaving while Herpes of course is a viral infection and spread through sexual contact. I would recommend getting your Herpes blood tests (HSV1 - IgG, IgM; HSV2 - IgG, IgM) as well as swab for PCR from the sores if possible. This will help to diagnose/rule out herpes conclusively.

If you cannot see a doctor for some reason then I would suggest washing the affected area with an antibacterial soap like Dial while bathing and applying Bacitracin ointment twice a day on the sores till they heal (5-10 days). Both of these are available over the counter without a prescription.

Please feel free to ask if you have any queries. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. That's exactly what I was concerned with. I will make an appointment. If you had to bet, what do you think it is? I understand I need a test, and do not feel concerned with alarming me. Is it a 50/50 chance of each in your opinion?
Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 2 years ago.

You're most welcome. Yes I think it is 50/50 at this point, with Herpes slightly more likely because of the description of the central depression in the bumps and the oozing of clear fluid and not pus as is more common in Folliculitis.

That sounds like a good plan.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Dr. Nair,While I appreciate the time you took to assist me, I am not satisfied with the advice I have received and would like a refund. I believe that the advice you offered was limited and did not provide any value beyond what I was able to gather from internet research. More specifically, having been to several specialists to diagnose my skin issues, I believe that your advice was misguided for the following reasons:
1. You narrowed my issue down to either herpes or folliculitis: as I have learned, herpes was an inaccurate suggestion because my lesions were at the base of my penis (where I had shaved) and were painless. Herpes is more common on the shaft of the penis and are noticeably painful.
2. I explained the link between my chest and my genital area and how I was experiencing irritation in both areas. Again, this should have ruled out the herpes option, as herpes does not typically happen on the chest.
3. I have been to a dermatologist, who has diagnosed this as molluscum contagiosum, a common skin virus whose symptoms and method of spreading are more in-line with my experience, which I articulated to you.Would you kindly process a refund? Please let me know if you have any questions at all. Thanks!
Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 2 years ago.

Hello again,

Thank you for getting back to me and filling me in on your situation. As I said your photographs were not the best to work with - I saw no evidence of MC in them; and I routinely see JA customers who have Molluscum Contagiosum (if you search for my answers you will see hundreds of paitents of MC who I have worked with). That said MC bumps can mimic folliculitis in the early stages taking on typical characteristics over the next few weeks.

As for Herpes - this can occur anywhere on the body and though the shaft of the penis and glans are the commonest sites for Genital Herpes they routinely occur in the pubic area, thighs, perineum, buttocks, and perianal area as well. I understand your concern though - google is good for general information on a subject but apart from that it cannot tell you rarer variants of a disease or their course.

Lastly JA is not meant to diagnose diseases or as a substitute for a doctor's visit - it is meant as a guideline for what may be happening and to provide information on possible scenarios. The reason we have lab tests for diseases is that even in person things are not always clear cut, so working with photographs is a good guess at best.

Please note this is just to express my point of view - please feel free to process your refund. I cannot do this personally though - you would need to email JA customer care who should take care of it right away. All the best & regards.