Staphylococcus aureus vulvitis: an insidious infection that stresses the importance of appropriate intimate hygiene


Vulviti da Staphylococcus aureus: un’infezione insidiosa che sottolinea l’importanza di una appropriata igiene intima
La Rivista Italiana di Ostetricia e Ginecologia, 2021, 1, 99-106
Why do folliculitis and other bacterial vulvar infections represent disorders of interest in the gynecological practice? Which predisposing, precipitating, and maintaining factors should be considered by the gynecologist when recurrent bacterial infections of vulvar skin become a clinical challenge? When is it appropriate to think of Staphylococcus aureus as a principle etiological agent? Why do S. aureus vulvar infections represent an emerging threat for women’s health?
New hygienic and cosmetic practices, including over-zealous cleansing and micro- and macro-traumatic hair removal techniques, lead to a significant increase of vulvar infections in the clinical practice. Factors predisposing to bacterial vulvar infections, such as personal and familial diabetes and obesity, indicate to the gynecologist an alteration of the vulvar ecosystem, which can predispose to more severe pathologies. S. aureus, the main infectious agent, causes increasing medical concerns because of its pathogenic and invasive capacity. Moreover, the rapid ability of S. aureus of developing antibiotic resistances is even more challenging in surgical specialties, especially in obstetrics and gynecology, for the reduced availability of effective antibiotics for treatment.
The gynecologist has an important educational role on the appropriate hygiene principles, to reduce bacterial vulvar infections, more threatening for their increasing invasive potential, especially in more vulnerable subjects.

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