Can a UTI Cause a Rash or Hives?

Written by: Jessica Guht Reviewed by: Amy Dougherty, FNP-BC, AGAC
Jessica Guht
Categorized as UTI
Jessica Guht
Categorized as UTI

If you have a UTI then you will want to get it treated as soon as possible. Antimicrobial medicine for treating UTIs has advanced so much over the years, and this makes it easier than ever to make sure that you eliminate the bacteria that’s causing the infection. That being said, it is not uncommon to see a UTI that also presents other symptoms.

Can a UTI Cause a Rash in Adults?

A UTI can cause a rash in adults, but the bacteria itself is not usually the primary cause.

What Can Cause Rashes When You Have a UTI?

Those who have recurrent UTIs may find that they experience regular skin rashes. Although this is not related to the bacteria causing the UTI, it can be related to the medicine you’re using to treat the condition.

There are also much more serious causes of a rash if you have a UTI. One example would be sepsis. If you want to find out more about any of these conditions as well as finding out when you should see a doctor, then take a look below.

Medicinal Reaction

The main and most common reason why people experience a rash when they have a UTI is because of a drug-related reaction. Some people even experience full-blown allergic reactions as a result of taking a drug designed to treat UTIs as well. 

The main medicine that is used to treat UTIs, that can also cause skin reactions would be nitrofurantoin. This is the most effective and common antibiotic used to treat UTIs, and in some instances, it is even prescribed to those with long-term or recurrent UTI infections. 

Some of the side effects of this medication include feeling sick, being sick, loss of appetite, dizziness or headaches. Taking this medication after a meal can help to eliminate the feeling of nausea.


This is a life-threatening complication. Urosepsis is a sepsis infection that has resulted from a UTI. Sepsis develops when bacteria makes its way into the blood. It’s important to know that urosepsis is very different to nephritis or an uncomplicated kidney infection. 

If you do experience urosepsis then this is a widespread reaction and as a result, you may experience varying symptoms. When the infection has spread to your blood, you will experience palpitations, a skin rash, low temperature, fever and nausea. In some instances, septic shock can occur. If you remotely suspect that you have urosepsis then seeing a doctor immediately is the best course of action.

Skin Diseases

It is entirely possible to have a contaminant disease, at the same time as your UTI. It can be very easy for you to confuse this, with the symptoms that occur with your UTI. Some of the biggest causes of skin rash can include urticaria, dermatitis, ringworm and more. 

If you develop any kind of rash during your UTI, then your doctor should be able to advise you on the best course of action. The presence of a UTI could well worsen your skin disease, due to your immune system working overtime. That being said, the two may not actually be connected.

But Can a UTI Cause Hives?

It is possible for bacterial and viral infections to cause hives. If you have a urinary tract infection, then this has been associated with hives by various medical bodies. The American College of Immunology has documented that the common cold, as well as strep throat and urinary tract infections, are often triggers for hives. 

If you suspect that you have hives, then you should know that the symptoms can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few months. The hives you have may resemble bug bites, but there are ways for you to tell the difference. 

Hives can appear anywhere in the body and it is possible for them to change shape as well. They can move around, reappear after a very short period of time, and it’s also possible for them to change shape. 

If you have bumps that have a clear edge, that suddenly go away, or that appear suddenly, then this is indicative of an infection. Pressing the middle of the red hive may also make it turn white, another sign of a bacterial cause, as opposed to a bug bite.

Could Other Conditions Cause UTI Like Symptoms and a Rash?

There are other conditions that can cause UTI-like symptoms and rashes. Some of them include a vaginal yeast infection and an STI.

With a vaginal yeast infection, you may find that you are very itchy around the vagina and the vulva. You may also find that you are itchy and that you have a thick, white discharge. Small or tiny cracks in the skin may also be present, along with a burning sensation when you go to the bathroom. Pain during sex is also a common symptom.

Chlamydia is another cause that can trigger UTI-like symptoms, along with a rash. Chlamydial infections can cause pain in your lower abdomen, and you may also experience painful urination. The main symptom that can be used to distinguish chlamydia from a UTI is that a UTI does not cause any kind of vaginal or penile discharge. If you do have an STI, then you may notice a watery discharge from the penis or a strong-smelling vaginal discharge.

When to See a Doctor?

If you even suspect that you have a UTI, then you need to see a doctor about it. They will be able to give you a treatment that works for you and the symptoms that you have. Although there are some remedies you can try at home, such as drinking cranberry juice or taking an OTC medication, it is important to know that some UTIs are just too advanced and require medical intervention.

Get Help From an Online Doctor!

If you want to get help without visiting your doctor, then an online doctor is faster and more convenient. You’ll be able to access the same treatment without having to leave your home.

Key Takeaways

  • A skin rash can occur with a UTI, but usually has a different underlying cause
  • UTI symptoms can be confused with STIs or yeast infections
  • Seeing a doctor is the best course of action if you suspect you have a UTI


DrHouse articles are written by MDs, NPs, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. The contents of the DrHouse site are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.

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