Female genital mutilation: what every American dermatologist needs to know.

Dermatol Clin. 2011 Jan;29(1):103-9.

Female genital mutilation: what every American dermatologist needs to know.

Dave AJ, Sethi A, Morrone A.

Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305-5109,
USA. AJDave6@uchicago.edu

Female genital mutilation (FGM) has become more common in the United States with  increased immigration to the United States of individuals from areas where the practice is endemic. Although the root causes of FGM may be multiple, the practice is banned in the United States on all women under age 18 and is increasingly being outlawed by individual state legislatures. American dermatologists should expect to see a growing number of patients having undergone FGM who may present with complications ranging from keloids and epidermal cysts to clitoral neuromas and abscess formation. While treatment of such complications is often elusive and unsuccessful, recognition of the practice may prevent future patient abuse and death. The eradication of FGM will require the concerted efforts of many individuals, both within and outside of the health care field, with dermatologists poised to play a crucial role in diagnosis and management in  the near future.

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