Peer Reviewed
Feature Article Women’s health
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Skin infections of the vulva

Ian Jones
Skin infections of the vulva may be primary infections or secondary to vaginal infections. The sexually transmissible infections particularly may have serious consequences if not diagnosed and treated promptly.
Key Points
  • Vulval infections may be misdiagnosed by relying on symptomatology rather than history, examination and appropriate testing.
  • Vulval infections can be classified as sexually or nonsexually transmissible.
  • Infections may be transmitted to the vulva by sexual activity, the hands, fomites and immersion in contaminated water.
  • Women with underlying dermatological disease of the vulva may be more prone to microbial infection as a result of skin barrier impairment.
  • Many sexually transmissible infections require notification to state health authorities.
  • The presence of pregnancy needs to be considered in women of a reproductive age because of possible effects of infections on the fetus.
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