Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indian J Sex Transm Dis
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-13

A study of biophysical profile of inguinal skin: An implication for health and disease

Department of Dermatology, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Heena Singdia
Room 404, SMS Girls Hostel, SMS Medical College and Attached Hospitals, JLN Marg, Jaipur - 302 004, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijstd.IJSTD_101_19

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Context: Inguinal skin is prone to various infectious dermatological conditions such as erythrasma, intertrigo, hidradenitis suppurativa, folliculitis, dermatophytic infection, and various sexually transmitted diseases, as compared to the skin elsewhere. Aim: Our study attempts to compare the biophysical profile parameters (BPPs) of the genital skin with that of the rest of the body, while taking skin of the upper back as control. It also attempts to find out if there is a difference in BPPs of the two sites and that how the change in the BPPs, bring about change in microbiome and make inguinal skin more prone to infections. Materials and Methods: This was a hospital-based comparative study conducted over 976 patients (600 males and 376 females) of age group 18–60 years, where BPP parameters such as hydration, skin pH, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and sebum content were measured over the skin of the upper back and right inguinal region, and the results were summarized and presented as proportions (%). Chi-square test was used to compare abnormal findings. P ≤ 0.05 was taken as statistically significant. MedCalc 16.4 version software was used for all statistical calculations. Results: Significant difference was noted in skin pH and TEWL, where P value came out to be <0.05, which was statistically significant, whereas there was minimal difference in sebum content and skin hydration in both the areas, in males and females. Conclusion: Raised skin pH disturbs organization of lipid bilayers (disturbed barrier), decreases lipid processing (impaired SC cohesion), and increases serine protease activity (reduced AMP). Increased TEWL (defect in physical barrier) and decreased hydration predispose the genital skin to infections. Use of pH buffered solutions (3–4), barrier repair creams containing ceramides, and barrier protective creams with dimethicone can help prevent these inguinal dermatoses.

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