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Feature Article

Male genital dermatology. Part 1: Inflammatory dermatoses

Anthony Hall

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©AntonioGravante/Dreamstime.com
©AntonioGravante/Dreamstime.com

Abstract

Male genital disease mostly comprises noninfectious skin disease, with the most common inflammatory condition being dermatitis. Uncircumcised males have a much higher risk of genital disease. The negative psychological, social and sexual impact of genital disease on a male patient is often considerable. The time taken to make a diagnosis and implement a treatment plan demonstrates not only your care for your patient but is an important part of the therapeutic process.

Key Points

  • Most diseases of male genitalia are common inflammatory skin diseases.
  • Many male patients have an underlying fear of a sexually transmissible infection (STI) or genital cancer.
  • The clinician’s knowledge of the range of common variants of male genital anatomy and the range of inflammatory dermatoses and noninflammatory lesions of male genitalia is key to effective management.
  • Uncircumcised males have a much higher risk of genital disease.
  • Pathological phimosis is most commonly caused by lichen sclerosus.
  • Irritant dermatitis is the most common genital skin disease.
  • Topical corticosteroids are the mainstay of treatment for most genital dermatoses.
  • Nonsexually acquired infections include pyogenic bacterial infections (e.g. impetigo), candidiasis, erythrasma, tinea and scabies.
  • Important STIs of genital skin include genital warts, herpes genitalis, syphilis (increasing incidence throughout the world) and scabies. Infestation with pubic lice is becoming less common.

Figures

©AntonioGravante/Dreamstime.com
©AntonioGravante/Dreamstime.com