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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2013 May;68(5):797-802. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2012.10.014. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

Management of nonsexually acquired genital ulceration using oral and topical corticosteroids followed by doxycycline prophylaxis.

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Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.



Data regarding the treatment of nonsexually acquired genital ulceration (NSAGU) are limited.


We sought to provide evidence for the safety and efficacy of topical and systemic corticosteroids followed by doxycycline prophylaxis for acute and recurrent NSAGU.


A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients with NSAGU treated in a private dermogynecology practice.


A total of 26 girls and women with NSAGU were identified and divided into 2 groups: group A = 17 patients with moderate to severe ulceration treated in the acute stage with oral corticosteroid; and group B = 9 patients with mild ulceration treated in the acute stage with topical corticosteroid. Patients in group A, with a mean age of 27.9 years (range, 11-62 years), were treated with oral prednisolone commencing with 15 to 50 mg per day depending on severity. Sixteen (94%) achieved rapid pain relief and complete healing of ulcers within 16 days. Eight (47%) commenced doxycycline prophylaxis. Women in group B, with a mean age of 42.5 years (range, 26-67 years) were treated with topical corticosteroids. Eight (89%) had a history of recurrent ulcers and 6 (66%) commenced doxycycline prophylaxis. Of all 14 patients on doxycycline prophylaxis, none reported any recurrences during a mean follow-up of 18.3 months. There were no adverse effects caused by prednisolone. One patient experienced mild photosensitivity from doxycycline but continued to take it.


This was a retrospective case series from a single private practice-based population.


Topical or oral corticosteroids followed by prophylactic doxycycline can be effective in rapidly resolving acute flareups and preventing recurrences of NSAGU. All patients responded to therapy without treatment-limiting side effects.

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