Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Can heat rash be mistaken for an STD?"

ZocdocAnswersCan heat rash be mistaken for an STD?


Over the weekend, I noticed a small rash around my groin. My boyfriend and I are sexually monogamous, so it doesn't seem like it could be an STD. I am prone to heat rashes, though. How can I tell the difference between a heat rash and an STD?


Any changes in a person's skin near there groin area can be a source of anxiety especially if you are sexually active and concerned about an STD. Only your doctor after taking your history and doing a detailed physical exam can tell the difference. This is an issue most often handled by your primary care physician or possibly your OBGYN. There are many different types of STDs, and they all present a little differently. The most common types are gonorrhea and chlamydia which are either found asymptomatically or cause vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, and painful urination (in the female). Genital herpes usually presents as painful or burning genital ulcers that come and go during times of stress. Syphilis and a whole host of other disease also present with genital ulcers raised bumps, either painless of painful. The good news is that STDs typically don't present as a rash around the groin. Rashes in that area are more likely caused by skin irritation from your clothes, various lotions used in the area, or a fungal infection. Plus if rashes are something you are prone to get, then that increases the likely that that is all it is. Only your doctor will be able to tell the difference. I would suggest getting checked out just to be sure. Good luck.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.