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Lipschutz ulcers: evaluation and management of acute genital ulcers in women

Authors

  • Jill S. Huppert

    1. Pediatrics and of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Jill S. Huppert, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333 Burnet Avenue, ML 4000, Cincinnati, OH 45229, or email: jill.huppert@cchmc.org.

ABSTRACT

Acute genital ulcers are painful and distressing to women and perplexing to the providers who care for them. The differential diagnosis includes sexually and nonsexually transmitted infections, autoimmune conditions, drug reactions, and local manifestations of systemic illness. However, in many cases, no causative agent is identified, and lesions are classified as idiopathic aphthosis. In the setting of fever and acute onset of genital ulcers in girls and women, the term Lipschutz ulcers has been used to describe ulcers associated with an immunologic reaction to a distant source of infection or inflammation. The aims of this article are to review the differential diagnosis and pathogenesis of acute genital ulcers, to offer an evaluation and classification scheme, and to discuss treatment options for the dermatologist who cares for women and girls with vulvar ulcers.

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