Genital allergy should be considered as a possible diagnosis in all patients with genital soreness or irritation for which no infection or dermatosis can be identified and in whom symptoms remain unchanged or worsen with treatment. Type I and IV hypersensitivity reactions are most commonly encountered and can be assessed by performing skin prick testing/radioallergosorbent test (RAST) or patch testing, respectively. Type IV reactions (contact dermatitis) may sometimes prove difficult to distinguish clinically from an irritant dermatitis. This clinical review attempts to summarise key features of genital allergy for the practising clinician.
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