The clinical spectrum of syphilitic balanitis of Follmann: report of five cases and a review of the literature

C Mainetti, F Scolari, S Lautenschlager
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology: JEADV 2016, 30 (10): 1810-1813

BACKGROUND: Eugène Follmann first described syphilitic balanitis as a manifestation of primary syphilis in 1948 and since then it has been known as syphilitic balanitis of Follmann (SBF). So far, SBF has rarely been described in literature.

OBJECTIVES: We are reporting five additional cases of SBF considering the broad differential diagnosis of balanitis.

METHODS: A review of the available literature of SBF was performed and five additional cases analyzed.

RESULTS: In our case series, the clinical appearance of SBF shows a heterogeneous spectrum varying from painful oedematous balanoposthitis with beginning paraphimosis to superficial erosive balanitis and even to painless induration of the glans.

CONCLUSIONS: SBF might be seen more frequently than has been described due to misinterpretation. Therefore primary syphilis should be included in the differential diagnosis of balanitis and balanoposthitis.

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