|September 2007 · Vol. 19, No. 09
Chronic genital skin disorders: 6 challenging conditions
When chronic skin disorders persist or recur, immune dysfunction may be a reason. Here’s how to respond.
Chronic vulvar pruritus with a history of asthma, hay fever, sinusitis, atopic dermatitis, or dry skin is vulvar dermatitis until it is proved otherwise
When lichen sclerosus is present, biopsy any thickened white patch, ulcerated area, or nonhealing skin fissure to check for squamous cancer
Although unusual enteric microbes are often detected by routine culture in cases of lichen planus, antibiotic therapy is ineffective
Monitor immunosuppressed patients closely for vulvar cancer and cervical dysplasia
Dr. Summers is Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake CityDr. Summers is a speaker for Ther-Rx Corporation and Merck.
Six common dermatologic disorders of the vulva and vagina can present considerable challenges:
These common conditions sometimes compromise the skin barrier and prevent an adequate immune response to invading microbes. Some degree of skin immune dysfunction is generally associated with each genital dermatologic disorder. Identifying and treating the underlying dermatologic disorder, then, often corrects the associated immune dysfunction and may restore the skin barrier and prevent further microbial invasion.