Dr. Jodi Ganz, managing partner of Olansky Dermatology & Aesthetics, joined host Bruce Feinberg on a recent episode of WSB’s “The Weekly Check-up.” Dr. Ganz is board certified with a focus in female genital dermatology and specializes in warts, cancer, and acne. The February 19 episode featured Dr. Ganz discussing the beginnings of the field of dermatology and its ties to the study of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), the effects of COVID on dermatology, and much more.
While in residency, Dr. Ganz’s mentor emphasized the importance of female genital dermatology. She quickly learned that many professionals were not exposed to that same perspective. She said gynecologists and dermatologists, who are familiar with all aspects of skin care, typically overlook female genital dermatology.
Dr. Ganz explained that because most signs of STDs often appear first on the skin, the field of dermatology initially was combined with the study of STDs. This made her naturally inclined to focus on female genital dermatology.
“I realized it was a community of women who were underserved. Women didn’t know who to talk to,” explains Dr. Ganz. “Did they talk to their primary care physician? Did they talk to their gynecologist? ‘I’m itchy all the time. I hurt all the time.’ Who addresses this? That’s why I entered the field.”
The field of dermatology was one of the many areas affected by the pandemic. Dr. Ganz shared that funds intended for STD outreach and testing were transferred to COVID relief funds. Consequently, this led to a rise in STDs.
“We have seen some of these (STD) rates go up recently,” says Dr. Ganz. “A big thing we know is also happening is the rise of syphilis again, although penicillin has made syphilis easily treatable. And the syphilis rise has coincided with the HIV numbers. You often see them (rise) in tandem.”
She also described how bacteria can change over time, becoming antibiotic resistant. This can lead to resistant strains of the bacteria responsible for STDs. Dr. Ganz defined herpes simplex virus, explained how it’s transferred, and what to expect when tested. She also shared the history of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and why some parents have reservations.
“Parents will (allow their children to) get the MMR vaccine and they will get the chickenpox vaccine. But when you talk to parents about sexual activity and the HPV vaccine when their kid is only 11 or 12 years old, parents opt out,” says Dr. Ganz. “That’s why the HPV vaccine does not have the same rates of uptake as some of these other vaccines.”
To close the show, Dr. Ganz and Dr. Feinberg answered listeners’ questions about psoriasis, vitiligo, collagen intake, and bleeding under the skin. Dr. Ganz wrapped up the show by describing her typical day at Olansky Dermatology & Aesthetics. Listen to the episode to learn more. To schedule an appointment with an expert dermatologist at Olansky Dermatology & Aesthetics, visit olanskydermatology.com or call 404-355-5484.