Five years ago I dated a man who told me that he had herpes, after we had engaged in unprotected sex. I had several tests done for various STDs, all of which came back negative. I was also told at the time that since I had no syptoms, they could not test me for herpes.
Several months later I had extremely swollen lymph nodes in my groin , severe pain shooting down both legs like sciatica, and fever. My whole body was sore for a week. I went to the OBGYN and had a scraping done of a reddish area they saw near my vulva. I had not noticed it. It came back negative. I also had my blood drawn, also negative.
Now, every six to eight months or so I have a bright red bumpy rash on my butt. It is raised and bumpy, then blister like, bursts and drains clear fluid, and finally scabs over. It lasts for a week, during which I have horrible sciatica pain down my leg during this time. I had this lesion on my buttock scraped, again with a negative result. My doctor suggested that it is stress related "hives", related to shingles/herpes zoster. He said it is common among women, he even said his wife has it when she is stressed!
It is driving me crazy trying to diagnose this. I have only had the lesion one at a time on my upper buttock, no where near my genitalia. Anyone care to offer up any suggestions? Any information would be appreciated.
What you describe certainly sounds like herpes, and when it is the genital area, one possible area for lesions is the buttocks. I've had OBs there for years and they look like what you describe. The reason why you can get them there is because herpes follows the nerves connected to the original infection site. That means just about anywhere in the "boxer shorts" area for genital herpes.
Swab cultures are notorious for false negative results, although it seems strange that your blood tests have turned up negative both times. Herpes zoster is a possibility here, I think, although I'm not as familiar with the symptoms or patterns of OBs. Pain along the nerves is a classic symptom of HZ (shingles), so the pain you describe in your legs could be the telling point. HZ produces lesions similar to HSV, and a quick survey of websites around show that the buttocks are one possible OB site.
HZ is caused by the chicken pox virus (in the herpes family) and tends to come on later in life. You don't say your age or race but apparently HZ occurs in people over 50 around 2/3 of the time, and Caucasions are more likely than African Americans to get it over 65. If it is HZ, you are apparently contagious around OB times and can pass on chicken pox to anyone who hasn't already had it.
HZ seems to be most commonly diagnosed by visual symptoms. I've seen a few references to a diagnostic test but the few sites that I saw didn't give any details. You might want to ask your doctor about it, or even talk to the lab directly to see what is available. Doctors are often out of date in their information about herpes viruses.
I've seen a references to using the same antiviral drugs for HZ as for HSV, namely Valtrex, Famvir and Acyclovir. But the few references I see about this seem to indicate that it can help lessen the post-outbreak pain that can arise rather than deal with the OBs, per se. But you might want to check directly with the makers of these drugs to find out more. They might also have information about diagnostic testing that's available.
I don't know if this helps, but I wish you luck finding out about it! I hope you are able to get a handle on whatever it is. Let us know how you make out with it.
Actually, Herpes Zoster, or Shingles, is rarely contagious. The ONLY way to transmit the virus is if a person is to actually come in contact with the FLUID inside of the blisters. Also, Shingles most often presents itself on only ONE side of the body. I am only 22 and I had Shingles at the age of 17. I was in horrendous pain, actually thought I might die. I was put on Valtrex after 2 weeks of misdiagnosis from the drs, and it helped tremendously. For weeks after I felt the nerve pain up and down my arm, but I haven't had that pain in a few years now. Perhaps they can test for Herpes Zoster through a viral culture, but I am not sure. I was diagnosed simply by the dermatologist doing a visual exam. Hope you feel better soon!