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Contempo Updates
August 27, 2003

Update on Genital Lesions

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dermatology Service, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Veterans Administration Medical Center, Houston, Tex.


Contempo Updates Section Editor: Sarah Pressman Lovinger, MD, Fishbein Fellow.

JAMA. 2003;290(8):1001-1005. doi:10.1001/jama.290.8.1001

The appearance of an external genital lesion may engender considerable anxiety in a patient. From the medical professional perspective, genital lesions pose serious diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Genital skin can erode or ulcerate, develop dyschromia (hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation) or erythema, and either thicken or atrophy in discrete or generalized fashions. However, genital lesions may result from many etiologies including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), non-STD infectious agents, inflammatory cutaneous disorders, multisystem diseases, benign and malignant neoplasms, and exogenous (external) factors (Table 1).1