Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) often have their own set of stigmas, particularly since they affect more than just the genitals; visible signs can also surface on patientsâ€™ skin.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) often have their own set of stigmas, particularly since they affect more than just the genitals; visible signs can also surface on patients’ skin.
According to recent CDC reports, the US holds the highest rate of STDs — approximately 20 million cases annually.
As a majority of these infections show up on the skin, dermatologists are just as involved in STD treatment as gynecologists, urologists, and infectious disease specialists, explained Sonoa Au, MD, Advanced Dermatology, PC.
Of the STDs treated by dermatologists, the most common are:
Taking it a step further, dermatologists are fully capable of both diagnosing and treating STDs. The two main treatment methods include antibiotics or antiviral drugs.
Often, a single dose of antibiotics is enough to fully eradicate many parasite- or bacteria-induced STDs (syphilis and chlamydia).
Additionally, although antiviral drugs can’t cure sexually transmitted viruses like herpes or HIV, these prescription drugs can significantly impact the course of disease — early treatment is key.
Au commented in a news release, “Dermatologists are extremely well-versed in STD care and we have particular expertise in its skin effects, which can be pervasive. Consulting with a dermatologist should be an action of first resort if you’re dealing with an STD.”