stdSexually transmitted diseases are a serious personal and public health issue, and some STDs can affect the health of your skin. Saif Fatteh, MD, of Lansing Podiatry & Dermatology in Mt. Pleasant and East Lansing, Michigan, can help by diagnosing common STDs and providing compassionate treatment that protects your health and wellness. If you have questions about STD testing or treatment, schedule a confidential, one-on-one exam with Dr. Fatteh today, online or over the phone.

What do sexually transmitted diseases have to do with dermatology?

Many sexually transmitted diseases exhibit symptoms that affect your skin, so it’s not surprising that many men and women first learn they have an STD when they visit their dermatologists to find answers about changes in their skin.

Herpes simplex virus

This disease leads to painful sores on your mouth or genitals. Herpes is caused by a virus, and while there is no cure, there are ways to manage the disease and reduce the risk of passing it along to a partner.

Genital warts

These skin growths are caused by several strains of human papillomavirus. Most cases aren’t painful, but genital warts can be unsightly.


This disease is very common, and it can spread to your eyes if you touch an infected area and then rub your eyes or the surrounding skin.


This infection starts with a small, painless sore at the spot where the infection entered your body, usually on your genitals or rectum. Left untreated, a rash can spread all over your body, and if still untreated, it can cause damage to your internal organs later, with potentially life-threatening consequences.

Many STDs can cause a rash, sores, or other symptoms in the visible portion of your skin. It’s important to come in for a diagnostic exam any time you notice changes. STD screening is fast and straightforward, and treatment can begin the same day.

How are STDs treated?

Your treatment path depends on the type of infection and how far it has progressed. Many STDs caused by parasites or bacteria can be cleared up with a simple course of antibiotics. In other cases, antiviral drugs can help reduce outbreaks and manage the condition.

Numerous new medications can help treat sexually transmitted diseases. Even for those infections that cannot be cured, proper treatment can help keep you healthy and reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others.

How can I prevent sexually transmitted diseases?

The only way to completely avoid STDs is to refrain from all sexual activity. The next best level of protection is to remain in a mutually monogamous relationship in which both partners have been tested for STDs.

Using male or female condoms can reduce your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease, but it’s important to know that some infections are spread through simple skin-to-skin contact, which includes skin that cannot be covered with a condom.

In the case of HPV, vaccines are available that can bring your risk level down to nearly zero. In fact, pediatricians are vaccinating large numbers of boys and girls before their first sexual contact to reduce the spread of HPV in younger generations.

If you have questions or concerns about STD testing or treatment, don’t hesitate to schedule an exam with Dr. Fatteh online or by phone at your earliest convenience. He offers compassionate, non-judgmental care with the sole focus of preserving your health and wellness.