It can be concerning to notice a blister on your genitals, especially when you’re not entirely certain about what is causing it. Their appearance may make you cycle through all problems that can affect you “down there” to try and determine the reason behind your blisters, and your mind may land on UTIs. However, can a UTI cause blisters?
UTIs involve the urinary tract and have more internal symptoms. As such, they do not generally cause blisters or any other type of irritation to the genitals.
Continue reading to learn what might be the cause behind your blisters and what you can do about them.
- The symptoms of a UTI are more internal and do not include blisters.
- Possible causes of genital blisters include STIs, cysts, or contact dermatitis.
- If you’re unsure of the cause of your blisters, reach out to a doctor.
Table of Contents
- Can UTIs Cause Blisters or Irritation Around Your Genitals?
- What Could Be the Real Cause of Your Blisters?
- When to See a Doctor?
- In Conclusion
Can UTIs Cause Blisters or Irritation Around Your Genitals?
UTIs do not typically cause blisters or irritation around the genitals.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are bacterial infections of the urinary tract that can cause:
- pain or burning when urinating
- frequently needing to urinate
- feeling as though you cannot empty your bladder completely
- bloody, cloudy, or foul-smelling urine
The symptoms of a UTI are all internal, not external manifestations like blistering or irritation around the genitals.
What Could Be the Real Cause of Your Blisters?
While a UTI is unlikely to be the cause of your blisters, there are some other possibilities.
A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is spread through close, skin-on-skin contact, such as the type achieved during sex. While there are many types of STIs, each with their own set of symptoms, some that can cause blisters include herpes, HPV, or syphilis. If you are sexually active and notice blisters or sores on your genitals, it is worthwhile to enquire with your doctor about STI testing.
Herpes, in particular, can often be mistaken for a UTI because it can also cause painful urination, and, like UTIs, it has sex as a risk factor. However, the primary difference is that herpes can cause pain and itching around the genitals alongside small bumps or blisters, while UTIs do not.
Yet another possibility is that the bumps you see are small cysts, which are common in the genitals of women. They generally do not cause symptoms, but some may be infected and require drainage. Keep an eye on the cysts and inform your doctor if any signs of infection appear.
Contact dermatitis is a skin condition that, in addition to bumps and blisters, can cause an itchy rash, swelling, burning, and dry, cracked, or scaly skin. It results when the body comes into direct contact with an allergen or irritant, which can include certain medications, detergents, or cosmetics. If you have contact dermatitis, the most important thing is to determine the irritant so that you can avoid further contact.
When to See a Doctor?
Some UTIs may go away on their own, but in most cases, they require the help of an antibiotic, which can only be attained by a doctor. Because of this, it’s best to see your doctor as soon as you notice any signs of a UTI, including burning when urinating or feeling like you can’t fully empty your bladder.
If you have a blister on your genitals, it’s best to survey for other symptoms. For instance, are you sexually active and also experiencing itching and painful urination? It may be herpes. Did you try a new detergent, maybe one with a strong scent, and are the bumps accompanied by a rash? It may be contact dermatitis.
If you’re unsure of the cause of your blisters, it’s always best to talk to a doctor. With DrHouse, you can meet with a doctor in just 15 minutes from the comfort of your house to go over your symptoms and narrow down the cause.
Urinary tract infections can cause symptoms that include pain when urinating and frequently needing to visit the restroom, but they do not typically cause blisters in the genital area. Some possible causes of blisters include STIs, cysts, or contact dermatitis.
If your blisters are accompanied by unpleasant symptoms, or they do not get better, it’s best to visit a doctor to determine their cause and begin treatment if necessary.
- Flores-Mireles, A., Walker, J., Caparon, M., & Hultgren, S. (2015). Urinary tract infections: epidemiology, mechanisms of infection and treatment options. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 13(5), 269-284. doi: https://www.doi.org/10.1038/nrmicro3432
- Al-Badr, A., & Al-Shaikh, G. (2013). Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Management in Women: A review. Sultan Qaboos University medical journal, 13(3), 359–367. https://doi.org/10.12816/0003256
- Mulvey, M. A., Schilling, J. D., & Hultgren, S. J. (2001). Establishment of a persistent Escherichia coli reservoir during the acute phase of a bladder infection. Infection and immunity, 69(7), 4572–4579. https://doi.org/10.1128/IAI.69.7.4572-4579.2001
- STD Facts – Genital Herpes. (2022). https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes.htm
- Ankita Deosthali, & Grubb, L. K. (2021). A Chief Complaint of Blisters in an Adolescent. Pediatrics in Review, 42(6), 336–338. https://doi.org/10.1542/pir.2020-0070
- Wilson, M., & Wilson. (2021). Genital Herpes. Springer EBooks, 405–414. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-56978-5_29