, Volume 272, Issue 2, pp 167-172
Date: 19 May 2005

Vulvar susceptibility to contact irritants and allergens: a review

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Vulvar tissue differs from cutaneous epithelia in structure, morphology and biophysical characteristics. For example, the skin of the labia majora exhibits elevated hydration, occlusion and frictional properties, which may increase susceptibility to irritants and contact sensitizers. Furthermore, the nonkeratinized vulvar vestibule is likely to be more permeable than keratinized regions. These differences heighten vulvar susceptibility to topical agents. This reviews the structure and properties of vulvar tissue, emphasizing their impact on susceptibility contact irritants and allergens.

Condensation: Epithelial structure, hydration and occlusion of the vulva make this tissue susceptible to inflammation caused by contact irritants and allergens.