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Michael Salama
Michael Salama,
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 715
Experience:  Medical director at San Miguel Medical Clinic
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Every time I exercise, I wear tight compression underwear.

Customer Question

Every time I exercise, I wear tight compression underwear. About a month ago, I had pubic folliculitis (dermatologist told me). After using mupirocin, they went away. But within the month, every time I exercise, about a day later, I get usually 3-4 small, red painless bumps, each with a single hair follicle growing from them, at the base of my penis. This has happened 4 times. I use mupirocin every time and they usually go away a few days later. I also have been having painful bumps on my scalp off and on for months. My question is if it is definitely folliculitis or something else? I do not have any other symptoms. Again, no pain whatsoever and if I never looked down there, I wouldn't even notice.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  Michael Salama replied 11 months ago.

Hello this is Dr. Salama MD,

Can you upload a picture?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No I cannot.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I currently have about 3 of the bumps, very small. Each one is around a single hair follicle.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Once again no pain. No pus either, just red bumps with hair follicle growing from it
Expert:  Michael Salama replied 11 months ago.

It sounds like your folliculitis is being aggravated by sweat which is not uncommon.

Try your best to keep it dry by using baby powder.

Fortunately it has not spread and progressed to the point where it needs oral antibiotics.

Topical antibiotic ointments are typically quite effective for folliculitis.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

If not, please don't forget to leave a positive rating as that's the only way I get credit for answering your question.

Thank you!

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok. Also, just to ease my OCD, this doesn't sound like herpes? I read that they usually are painful, water looking blisters, but I also read that sometimes symptoms can be very small and mistaken for another thing.
Expert:  Michael Salama replied 11 months ago.

If it was herpes, it would not improve with mupirocin, nor is herpes aggravated with sweat.

I can always look at a picture later if you are able to upload one.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Is herpes usually painful though?
Expert:  Michael Salama replied 11 months ago.


Customer: replied 11 months ago.
it usually is not painful? I thought they were painful blisters
Expert:  Michael Salama replied 11 months ago.

Most of the time, people are asymptomatic but they can be painful in some cases

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok. Last question, can you just tell me the difference between folliculitis symptoms and herpes?
Expert:  Michael Salama replied 11 months ago.

Folliculitis signs and symptoms include:

  • Clusters of small red bumps or white-headed pimples that develop around hair follicles
  • Pus-filled blisters that break open and crust over
  • Red and inflamed skin
  • Itchy or burning skin
  • Tenderness or pain
  • A large swollen bump or mass

Herpes symptoms include:

  • Cracked, raw, or red areas around your genitals without pain, itching, or tingling
  • Itching or tingling around your genitals or your anal region
  • Small blisters that break open and cause painful sores. These may be on or around your genitals (penis or vagina) or on your buttocks, thighs, or rectal area.
Expert:  Michael Salama replied 11 months ago.

Is there anything else I can help you with today?