Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

I had these symptoms and am concerned, is there anything to indicate it wasn't hsv2?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 3 Replies
  • Posted By: dirk13
  • December 23, 2010
  • 02:12 AM

Aside from the obvious negative test result from the skin culture, but more on that later.

Back in September I saw a rash of sorts on my body that concerned me. I would have figured it was run of the mill foliculitis (as I get it from time to time and have learned to ignore it mostly if it's something I have seen before), but it seemed patterned/clustered a bit oddly and a bit more redder than usual (although possibly still centered on follicles). I don't remember how they first formed, but I want to say it did seem like run of the mill pimples to start. And to add, they never tingled, burned or itched (well they itched a little simply because they were right around where my underwear band was).

Anyway, that would have likely not been enough alone to concern me, but then I got the flu shortly after...or possibly "flu like symptoms", including lower back pain (and a stiff neck too though). It just seemed far too coincidental and well timed. However at the same time, maybe I was just noticing a pattern where there wasn't one. Plus it was September, so just at the beginning of flu season.

The flu seemed like the flu, and my fever was high, certainly not mild, I even threw up (trying to see if a very high fever or other symptoms like nausea is possible signs of an actual flu over a herpes outbreak symptom).

Anyway, as soon as I was feeling better from the flu, I went to the doctor, he looked at it, said it did look a little "interesting" and that he may want to also test it for shingles along with HSV2, but that it seemed like it was likely nothing. He rubbed it very hard with the swab to get a deeper sample (re-irritating it, which in hindsight is probably why it didnt heal a bit faster) and tested it and it did come back negative. Just to clarify I am not afraid that I had shingles, it was just the idea that the rash looked strange enough to him to "inspire" him to test for something else means it wasn't just me, so that concerned me. However , again, it came back negative for both (not sure how reliable the test was or if I got it tested in time, since I didn't come in until I felt better enough to do so).

Anyway, what I am curious about, is there anything in here that hints that it possibly isn't herpes? Any symptom, or lackthereof, that would affirm it probably was nothing because herpes either would or wouldn't do that?

Oh, and I also have pictures I took just in case I needed them:


forgive the shoddy photography, I was using my phone.

People often say if you get herpes and it manifests it you'll KNOW. I guess that fact alone should indicate I probably don't have it, because I didn't feel any pain from the red bumps and the skin test came back negative (although I am not sure how much I trust it because I didnt go in as early as I could have).

So basically with all this evidence (some for but also some against) can anyone weigh in? At this point I'd just like a little piece of mind, as I have already gotten the proper test. But I keep dwelling on all those coincidental symptoms involving the flu, and the back pain and all that (since that seemed like a rather unique symptom). I have looked at countless herpes pictures comparing them to my own, but most are very severe (aka gross) examples and difficult to provide any real help, just alarmed me more. Also probably best to keep in mind it was just the beginning of flu season, I even remember hearing an ad on the radio that flu shots were about to start, so maybe I am just that unlucky :P .

I think if I someone who has had herpes or had a lot of experience with it could make a solid diagnosis based on my pictures that would help me a lot. Sadly, while I never hope to get herpes, it seems like that is also the best way to drive one crazy over whether any given rash or foliculitis could be it or not.

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3 Replies:

  • Whoops, pictures were short linked, here they are:http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/4176/384z.jpghttp://img151.imageshack.us/img151/9046/385s.jpghttp://img233.imageshack.us/img233/6034/386h.jpghttp://img602.imageshack.us/img602/8025/387h.jpghttp://img151.imageshack.us/img151/2730/388hn.jpg
    dirk13 2 Replies
    • December 24, 2010
    • 09:53 AM
    • 0
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  • While I can't offer any firsthand experiences, I have seen my share of herpes cases at work. Since the links to your pictures are broken I can't guess what your problem was, but based on your description I don't think it is hsv2.First, you are right in that "flu-like symptoms" can be associated with hsv2, can be. It's not the most common warning sign and I would say you caught yourself a nice virus and it was a coincidence that it began when you noticed the rash. Apparently herpes blisters cause incredible pain on the blister itself, which you deny. I've never known a patient to have a herpes outbreak and have no pain or burning on the affected area. Your test would have been about 99% accurate. But if you don't trust it you'll just have to wait and see if it happens again and go for another. You say you are prone to folliculitis, perhaps having that looked at next time it happens would ease your mind. As for what your rash really was, it's hard to say. There are a multitude of things that can cause a rash in the genital area. Shaving, chafing, sensitivity to soap or laundry detergent, or anything that could irritate your skin. Maybe it was folliculitis with staph infection.
    rockxgoddess 3 Replies
    • December 25, 2010
    • 02:35 PM
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  • Yeah, I noticed the links were broken due to how I posted them, these should work though:http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/4176/384z.jpghttp://img151.imageshack.us/img151/9046/385s.jpghttp://img233.imageshack.us/img233/6034/386h.jpghttp://img602.imageshack.us/img602/8025/387h.jpghttp://img151.imageshack.us/img151/2730/388hn.jpgWhen you say you have seen your fair share at "work", do you work in the medical field? Also, you would be the first to say that symptom wise it doesnt in general sound like herpes. I mean most say it does sound a bit like a primary outbreak (minus none of the pain or feelings associated with my rather small rash). Heck, I partially even got it into my head in the first place due to reading the symptoms online and that flu-like symptoms was commonly the body first reacting to the infection and attempting to fight it off, naming even lower back pain, swollen lymph nodes and fever (all which I did have, but all of which is also as far as I know associated with the common flu).I will say as people are pointing out, herpes can be a very subtle thing to some or a chameleon, or just in general that is never a garunteed constant, so many saying me not feeling any pain or burning is not much of a garuntee to the contrary, but it feels good to hear someone say otherwise.Some also say my test possibly was not 99% accurate, I suppose that's also why I began worrying some time later. However, I imagine the doctor would have looked at the rash and mentioned it didnt look active anymore when he sampled it rather than recommend that test.
    dirk13 2 Replies
    • December 25, 2010
    • 11:01 PM
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