STDs That Cause Dry Skin


The skin is the body’s largest organ and plays a vital role in protecting us from infections and other dangers. When you have an STD, however, the skin may become dry and irritated. This can lead to symptoms such as itching, burning or tingling around your genitals (or other parts of your body) during sexual activity. These symptoms may not only be embarrassing but also painful if they persist long enough. That said, it’s important to know how STDs affect the skin so that you can get treatment right away if necessary.  STD that causes dry skin…here we go!

What STD Causes Dry Skin

Mycoplasma genitalium

Mycoplasma genitalium is a bacteria that can cause a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is the most common cause of bacterial STI in Australia and the UK. M. genitalium can be passed on through vaginal, anal or oral sex and symptoms usually appear between 1-3 weeks after being infected.

Signs of M. genitalium include:

  • Sore throat (pharyngitis)
  • Discharge from the penis or vagina

M. genitalium is usually tested with an NAAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification Test). These are available at most doctor’s offices and health clinics. Call ahead to make sure.


Chlamydia is a common STD that affects both men and women. It is caused by bacteria and can spread from one partner to another during sex.

In men, chlamydia can cause inflammation of the urethra (urethritis) and also inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis). In women, it may cause cervical infection (cervicitis) or an infection of the fallopian tubes, which carry eggs from ovaries to uterus; this condition is called salpingitis in medical terms.

Chlamydia often causes no symptoms in males or females. However, if you do have symptoms they can include: discharge from the penis or vagina; burning sensation when urinating; pain while urinating; redness around rectum and/or vagina; soreness when having sex with someone who has chlamydia.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STD in the US. It’s also the most common cause of cervical cancer, anal cancer, genital warts and mouth and throat cancer. When genital warts appear they can be flaky and itchy, especially on the skin around the wart itself. 

HPV is passed from person to person through sexual contact with an infected partner. It can be spread by skin-to-skin contact during sex, including vaginal, anal and oral sex (kissing).

You cannot get HPV from toilet seats or swimming pools.

std that causes dry skin

Herpes simplex virus type 2

Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is a sexually transmitted disease that causes genital herpes. Symptoms include pain, itching, burning and irritation of the affected area. Again, the wart or the area of skin around the wart can become dry, itchy, and flaky.

HSV-2 can be transmitted from an infected person to another person during sexual contact.


Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can cause dry skin on the penis. Dryness, burning sensation when urinating, discharge from the penis and pain in the testicles are also possible symptoms of gonorrhea.

The best way to prevent gonorrhea is to use a condom during sexual intercourse and limit your number of sexual partners. If you suspect that you have gonorrhea, it’s important to see your doctor right away so they can prescribe antibiotics and treat the infection before it causes more damage or complications down the road.


Syphilis is a bacterial STD that can cause a rash and sores on the genitals. It’s also called “the great imitator,” because it can look like a variety of other diseases. it can affect many parts of your body, including your nervous system, heart and brain.

Syphilis is spread through sexual contact with someone who has syphilis or by touching an open sore of the infected person. The sores on a person’s mouth or in their throat may also be contagious if they are still wet with pus.

Some people won’t have any symptoms when they’re infected, but most will develop one to three weeks after being exposed to syphilis. Symptoms include:

  • A small sore at the point of contact (usually on the penis, vagina or anus) during sexual intercourse or other intimate contact like kissing; this usually occurs within 2 to 6 weeks after infection
  • Sores in other areas such as lips, eyes and mouth; these can occur anytime between six months and two years after initial exposure

STDs can sometimes cause dry skin on the penis or vagina, but other symptoms could indicate an STD

While it’s true that STD symptoms can be mild or severe, and some are more common for men than women, there are a few things you should know about STD symptoms that dry skin on the genitals isn’t necessarily one of them. The same goes for genital herpes, which is a viral infection rather than bacterial.

what std causes dry skin

If you think that your symptoms might indicate an STD—or if you’re just curious about what to look out for—it’s important to do some research and consult with your healthcare provider. One thing to keep in mind: just because someone has an STD doesn’t mean they’ll have noticeable symptoms right away (or ever). Some people only show signs after months or years of being infected with a disease like chlamydia.

There are also many different kinds of STDs, ranging from bacterial infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia to viral infections like herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and human papillomavirus (HPV). Since each type of infection causes its own unique set of signs and symptoms, it’s important not only to understand the general appearance of each but also how they differ depending on who is infected by them — whether it’s male or female; young or old; etc.


We hope this helps you understand the STDs that cause dry skin. Check out our article about vaginal dryness, where we discuss the causes of vaginal dryness before and after sex.

If you have dry skin on your penis or vagina that is not causing any other symptoms, it’s likely due to an STD. If you think you might have an STD, get tested right away.

Medically Reviewed by on August 12, 2022

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Author: Esther Jordan

Esther Jordan has been a writer ever since she can remember. She has always loved the free gift of self-expression through journaling, creating stories, and sharing life experiences in front of audiences. Public speaking and creating content has been a strong suit of hers since high school. Immediately after college, she received a paid position as an search engine optimization (SEO) writer in 2010 when SEO was still a very brick and mortar concept for a lot of small businesses. It was a time of do-it-yourself websites and online magic that everyone wanted and either referred to it as SEO or pay-per-click (PPC).