STDs Can Appear On The Skin Too

STDs Can Appear On The Skin Too

Although love is a sweet thing, its aftereffects are not always so sweet – sores, bumps and rashes of a sexually transmitted disease.

Believe it or not, your skin is a breeding ground for STDs as well, which is why many dermatologists are getting involved in the detection and treatment of these diseases.

Best of all, every insurance company covers the cost of sexually transmitted disease because it’s so important for one’s health and well-being.

A September 2017 report from the CDC has suggested a rise in STDs with over 20 million new infections being diagnosed each year – half of that found in people between the ages of 15 and 24 years of age. Cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia, which do display skin symptoms – are at record highs.

Keep in mind that STD skin symptoms are more than just warts and herpes, and can show up anywhere on the body.

Besides the herpes simplex 1 and 2 and human papillomavirus (HPV) being responsible for genital warts, skin infections can be tied to HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia. The molluscum contagiosum virus and scabies are also transmitted through sexual activity.

Not only do these STDs affect the sexual health, but they also affect the skin. For example, gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to pink eye. Syphilis and gonorrhea can cause rashes on the body such as the feet and hands. HIV’s impact on the immune system can lead to an array of skin issues. The only surefire way to prevent STD skin issues is to get immediate medical treatment.

Dermatologists can identify and treat STDs that can lead to skin problems and complications. Be sure to keep the following three tips in mind about skin STDs:

Talk To A Trusted Doctor

Communication is important, so if you suspect you have an STD, be sure to talk to your doctor. Many STIs can be treated with a course of antibiotics. The herpes virus and similar viruses have no cure but do have medications that have the ability to control outbreaks.

Take Immediate Action

When you have skin outbreaks, be sure to treat the disease, even if it goes away. Some HPV strains can lead to cervical, breast and other cancers. Chlamydia is also known to lead to blindness and infertility. HIV, gonorrhea and syphilis can also be life-threatening when not treated. Pregnant women with untreated STDs could suffer a miscarriage.

Be Mindful Of Prevention Options

Young people can now be vaccinated against HPV. You can use prevention methods such as condoms to stop various STIs due to sexual contact. Condoms, however, are not effective in skin-to-skin diseases such as herpes. The only way to prevent the spread of these STIs is to get regular testing for STDs and stay in a monogamous relationship.

Don’t forget that skin outbreaks can take place out of the intimate areas such as the hands, feet, eyes and other parts of the body. A dermatologist is skilled in looking at skin problems including the ones that STDs cause. And, remember, most STDs can be treated but should be looked at immediately – not after the outbreak is gone.

Mark Riegel, MD

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