Vulvovaginal manifestations in Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis: Prevention and treatment

Kathleen F. O'Brien, Sarah E. Bradley, Caroline M. Mitchell, Michael A. Cardis, Melissa M. Mauskar, Helena B. Pasieka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The prevalence of acute vulvovaginal involvement in toxic epidermal necrolysis can be as high as 70%; up to 28% of female patients will also develop chronic vulvovaginal sequelae. There is little consensus regarding prevention and treatment of the gynecologic sequelae of both Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN). We review acute and chronic sequelae, including erosions, scar formation, chronic skin changes, urethral complications, adenosis, malignant transformation, vulvodynia, and dyspareunia. We provide comprehensive recommendations for acute and long-term vulvovaginal care in adult and pediatric SJS/TEN patients. Treatment should include an ultrapotent topical steroid, followed by a nonirritating barrier cream applied to vulvar and perineal lesions. A steroid should be used intravaginally along with vaginal dilation in all adults (but should be avoided in prepubertal adolescents) with vaginal involvement. Menstrual suppression should be considered in all reproductive age patients until vulvovaginal lesions have healed. Last, referrals for pelvic floor physical therapy and to surgical subspecialties should be offered on a case-by-case basis. This guide summarizes the current available literature combined with expert opinion of both dermatologists and gynecologists who treat a high volume of SJS/TEN patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-528
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • acute
  • adults
  • consult dermatology
  • gynecologic care
  • long-term care
  • pediatrics
  • toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • vulvovaginal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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