The vulvar skin microenvironment: influence of different panty liners on temperature, pH and microflora
Runeman B, Rybo G, Forsgren-Brusk U, Larkö O, Larsson P, Faergemann J.
The aim of this study was to confirm findings that vapour-impermeable panty liners might impair skin climate, and to assess their impact on the skin microflora. Temperature, surface pH and aerobic microflora were measured on vulvar skin of 102 women. The mean skin temperature was 1.1 degrees C higher when using a vapour-impermeable panty liner compared with not using one. Use of panty liners with vapour-permeable back sheets and acidic cores resulted in skin temperature, pH and microflora levels that were very close to those observed in persons not using liners. The temperature, pH and total number of microorganisms were significantly lower for users of vapour-permeable panty liners than for users of vapour-impermeable ones (p <0.05, p<0.001 and p<0.001, respectively). The microorganism densities were usually higher when using the vapour-impermeable panty liner, but mean differences were minor. The use of panty liners seems not to imply a microbial risk for normal, healthy women.