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Experiencing Blisters On Legs?

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Overview of Blisters on Legs

After wearing the wrong shoes for a day, blisters on your feet are normal. But when you notice these sores places they shouldn’t be, like blisters on legs and upper thighs, they could be symptoms of STDs. Some STDs - like herpes - can be spread during sex play or even when a condom is used since the barrier doesn’t cover areas like the legs.

Blisters on legs, groin or genitals are often caused by herpes, a common STD, but sometimes other conditions cause blister-like symptoms. STD testing with can help diagnose these pesky symptoms.

Understanding and Recgonizing Blisters on Legs

Blisters or sores can vary in appearance. They can be large or small, and can occur as one single blister or in clusters. But while size or quantity may vary, blisters are basically fluid-filled bumps that resemble bubbles on the surface of your skin.

Blisters can be found on the upper thighs, groin, vulva, penis, scrotum or anus; bumps and sores can be found virtually anywhere in the genital area.

These blisters may be painful or itch, with symptoms ranging from mild to sever. In extreme cases, an outbreak may be accompanied with flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, headache or swollen glands.

Possible Causes of Blisters on Legs

  • Genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease. Two strains of herpes can cause outbreaks on the legs, genitals and groin: 
    • HSV-1 usually causes cold sores on the face, known as oral herpes, but it can be transferred to the genitals during oral sex.
    • HSV-2 often causes symptoms genitally (below the waist) and is commonly known as genital herpes.

Other causes may include:

  • Scabies
  • Bed bugs
  • Folliculitis, or infected hair follicles
  • Allergic reaction of the skin

Diagnosing Blisters on Legs

Since many different conditions can cause blisters on legs and the surrounding regions, genital herpes testing is the only way to determine if this common STD is to blame for symptoms. There are two strains of herpes, HSV-1 and HSV-2, which cause identical symptoms so it is important to test for both viruses. Herpes testing can be completed at a local lab through a simple blood draw, and results are available within just a few days.

It is possible to carry the herpes virus and not experience symptoms for many years. However, If you are not at risk for STDs, a doctor or dermatologist can help diagnose the cause of blisters on the legs.


Treating Blisters on Legs

Herpes is treatable with antiviral medication which can reduce the frequency and intensity of flare-ups. Treating herpes with medication is not a cure, but can keep help pesky genital herpes symptoms at bay. Also, condoms can reduce herpes transmission, although herpes blisters on the legs and other areas can still be transmitted.

Treatment varies when causes by other conditions. If caused by an allergic reaction, avoid contact with the aggravating substance immediately. If a parasitic infection, such as bed bugs or scabies, is causing symptoms, a doctor can prescribe medication. Be sure to sterilize any clothes, blankets, or furniture than may be infected. A doctor or dermatologist can further advise treating these conditions.

About Genital Herpes

HSV-2, the most common cause of genital herpes, affects about 17% of the population (Source: CDC). However, this prevalent STD often goes unnoticed since most infections are mild or even asymptomatic. About 81% of those with herpes are unaware of their infection.

A person may show symptoms days, weeks or year after contracting the STD, making it very difficult to determine when and from whom they contracted it from. This STD can be tricky to diagnose with symptoms alone, but STD testing can provide answers, and if positive, proper treatment can be administered to alleviate symptoms and prevent future outbreaks.


Written by Abby Morgan

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