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September 2006

Dermatology’s Role in Treating Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Arch Dermatol. 2006;142(9):1231-1244. doi:10.1001/archderm.142.9.1231

Historically, syphilis encompassed all sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and dermatology was a double specialty that involved skin and venereal disease.1 After the successful debut of penicillin, STDs were treated by generalists rather than by specialists. In 1955, most organizations of dermatology and syphilology dropped the latter appellation and began to focus more exclusively on cutaneous diseases rather than on STDs.2 Currently, no medical specialty in the United States has a leading role in treatment of STDs; instead, treatment is provided by public health clinics and private physicians from various specialties including obstetrics and gynecology, urology, infectious disease, general medicine, and dermatology.

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