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Dermatology Online Journal

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Recurrence of non-sexually acquired acute genital ulceration following COVID-19 vaccination


There is a rare subset of non-sexually acquired acute genital ulcers, previously called Lipschutz ulcers, that are often preceded by a constitutional prodrome and have been associated with multiple viral and bacterial infections. These ulcers are categorized by some as a variant of complex aphthosis, with one hypothesized etiology involving a non-specific systemic inflammatory response to acute infection or vaccination. Although painful, these lesions resolve over the course of several weeks and recurrence is rare but possible. Recently, there have been reports of genital ulcer development due to either acute infection with COVID-19 or following vaccination against the same. We report a case of non-sexually acquired acute genital ulceration that initially presented in 2008 as Lipschutz labial ulcers associated with acute Epstein-Barr virus infection, with recurrence twelve years later following administration of the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. This case report and exhaustive literature review challenges widely accepted views regarding the typical age range of patients affected by non-sexually acquired acute genital ulceration, the sexual history of affected populations, the pathophysiology of lesion occurrence, and possibility of lesion recurrence.

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