Genital dermatology is a field encompassing the study, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and problems that occur on the skin in the genital area. While most genital dermatologists have a general practice treating genital skin diseases, some specialists opt to focus their studies on a certain part of the field. Specialties are generally categorized by the nature and location of the disease, but can also be classified by the type of patient being treated. Some types of genital dermatology focus on specific diseases and conditions in the pubic area. Common focal points of study in genital dermatology include sexually transmitted infections, malignant or non-malignant growths, and allergic inflammatory conditions.
Study and treatment of genital skin problems can be categorized by the patient who is being treated. Genital dermatology can treat animals as well as humans, and some fields focus on treating patients by gender. This is because many genital skin diseases behave differently on the genitals of men than they do on the genitals of women. Some diseases that have serious symptoms for women can show few or no symptoms when they occur in men.
A great many problems with genital skin can occur as a result of allergic reactions. Causes of allergic reactions on genital skin can include cosmetics like lotions or soaps, laundry detergent allergies or irritation from fabric allergies. Dermatologists treating allergic reactions often prescribe topical creams in addition to oral medication to treat allergic genital dermatitis symptoms.
One field of genital dermatology focuses on treating lesions that may turn out to be genital skin cancer. Some genital dermatologists focus on treating lesions or growths, like cysts, that appear on the skin. These growths can be cancerous or non-cancerous. Treatment for this type of skin problem often involves removing and analyzing the growth to determine whether it may contain cancer cells, and using the diagnosis to determine whether and how to treat the patient for any signs of cancer that appear in the tests.
Afflictions to the skin of the genital area can be divided by whether they are sexually transmitted or non-sexually transmitted. These can include infections caused by bacteria, viruses or any other type of genital skin disturbance instigated by sexual contact. Examples of sexually transmitted diseases treated by genital dermatologists include the human papilloma virus (HPV), syphilis and scabies. Since diseases like HPV and syphilis are common in the general population, some fields of genital dermatology focus specifically on one disease to further progress in its treatment.