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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes dry skin in the pubic area?

Answered by
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Dr. Albana Sejdini

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 5455 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 16 Mar 2017 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Hi Dr,



How are you going?

I have a few questions about dry skin from pubic hair. If dry/flakey skin from pubic hair falls on everyday objects such as plastic wrapped around chocolate, what is the likelihood of those germs contaminating and causing harm to everyday objects such as laptop, door handles etc if I've forgotten to wash my hands after touching dry skin that fell on my chocolate wrapper from my pubic hair? Will it spread and become contagious to inanimate objects which people touch everyday?



Thank you for your help!!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Explained below...

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

I understand your concern.

I want to emphasize first the importance of keeping a good hygiene. Washing hands and other hygienic measures will help keeping you and others safe of any type of infection.

In your case, it's true that there are chances for other to get infected if you forgot to wash your hands after touching your private parts, but, this can happen if:
- others won't keep good hygiene
- they have weak immune system
- if you have contagious infective illness
- and if the contact with others is soon after yours

Now, keep in mind that there are some germs that won't live outside the body for longer.

Next, there are studies shown that laptops/computers or other electronic apparatus that are shared with others and that are not regularly cleaned, those studies have shown many germs like E.coli living there and putting at a high risk to get infected if not following good hygienic measures.

Hope this answers your first query. Let me know if you need further clarifications.
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Albana Sejdini 31 minutes later
Hi Dr Albana,

I just wanted to clarify my situation.

I live in a small apartment, therefore I have to leave my groceries in my room. I was changing my undies and pulled it down to my knees and I forgot that I was directly above the chocolate wrapped in plastic which was unintentional. I was wondering if those germs from pubic region which I noticed to appear like little white dots have a chance to survive on plastic and spread to everyday objects which I touched after such as the door handle, laptop or stationery if I have forgotten to wash my hands afterwards

Thank you for your help

I'm assuming the white dots are dried skin, what if the situation was reversed and it was dried discharge? How likely is those germs going to affect the health of others? Are they contagious ? Will those germs harbour of inanimate objects ?
I don't think I have pubic lice, I haven't experienced any itching but I'm unsure what it was
doctor
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 21 hours later
Brief Answer:
Explained below...

Detailed Answer:
Hi back,

Dried skin if not containing parasites, and if not immediately being in contact, then, there is not an immediate risk.

While, if dried discharge, live microbes won't be able to live there, outside the body.
Inside germs can't live longer outside body.
However, there is risk to get contaminated from environmental microbes.

So, don't think over it too much. If you forget to wash hands at that moment, please understand that our body has ability not to get infected that easily. Unless, immune system is weak.

All the best.
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Albana Sejdini 14 hours later
Hi Dr Albana,

Could you please clarify this a little more for me?
If dried discharge falls on plastic which I touch, then I touch other inanimate objects straight after such as door handles, laptops etc, germs/bacteria from dried discharge is harmful?

What do you mean by there is a risk to get contaminated from environmental microbes?

Thanks again!

Will those germs from dried discharge specs(small white dots) be able to survive on inanimate objects which I touched straight after if I've forgotten to wash my hands after contact with the plastic)

whats is the likelihood of the spread of germ and getting sick?? is it harmful? what germs are present?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 26 hours later
Brief Answer:
Explained below...

Detailed Answer:
Hi back my dear,

Please find the requested explanations below:

In the private areas, there are 2 main types of germs:
- highly contagious germ like parasites (lice), herpes, etc.
- normal flora of the genitalia (which is not contagious or harmful, but, in case, it will become a habit of touching your genitalia and then other groceries, it is the risk that this normal flora can become harmful and contagious. In case the dried discharge, this risk is minimized, even if you forgot to wash your hands or other people forget to clean the area).

Think it in this way: in the supermarkets or shopping centers, there are public toilets. Do you think all people who go there wash hands or keep personal hygiene properly? No, not all of them, especially children.
Studies have shown that trolleys are highly contaminated with normal flora of the GI tract like E.coli. But still people are not infected because:
- the body has the capability to not let the germ live longer inside (clear off by immune cells)
- the germs do not find appropriate environment to multiply and excrete harmful toxins

Hope this answers your questions. I think do not need to over-think about it.
Try to keep proper hygienic measures next time. What has been done is already gone. Try to live healthy and clean now on.

All the best.
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Albana Sejdini 1 hour later
Hi Dr Albana,

Thanks for your reply, hope you're having a good day!
I just wanted to know whether dried discharge specs can transmit germs to objects such as pens, laptops, door handles, cardboard which I handled straight after and how long would you estimate for those germs to live for? What environment will they need to grow in?
What's more harmful dried discharge specs or ecoli? Does the genital region contain harmful ratios of coliform bacteria? How likely would dried discharge contain coliform bacteria?

So essentially you are saying e-coli from trolleys are transferred to the products we purchased everyday? What about if we purchased chip packets? If we handled the trolley, then picked up some chips and put that in our pantry, the next time we washed our hands and picked up the chip packet, wouldn't we be recontaminating ourselves with e.coli?

So people who are shop are essentially also spreading their genitalia germs around, isn't likely we can contaminate the products we purchased if they went to a self service checkout? Should I be sterilising non-perishable food products I brought or stationery? Wouldn't their germs be easily transferred to my products?

doctor
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 38 hours later
Brief Answer:
Following answers to your queries...

Detailed Answer:
Hi back my dear,

Sorry for my late reply due to my XXXXXXX clinical overload.

I'm fine thank you. I hope you are doing fine too.

Now, to answer your questions:

- the only harmful germ that is highly contagious even in dried discharge when touching objects is genital warts and herpes. You are not reporting such infections.

- Normally, germs living inside our body requires body temperature and environment to live longer. If outside, they will practically get "dead" in a few seconds or minutes

- The sample I gave last time was to make you relax and not worry further. I am sorry if it has caused additional worries. Now, even in cases of coliforms although they might live on computers or laptops, however, they can't cause infection because as said earlier our body has its own defence measures to clean them off.

Furthermore, if you forget to wash your hands once, but keep maintaining a good personal hygiene, then, there is nothing to worry about such infetions. You're practically protected.

When I talked about coliforms, please take note that shopping centers do have their own cleaning protocols. However, as medical team we advise to wash hands especially when using public utensils like toilets, trolleys, etc, because they do carry their own risk about infection although we cannot admit if it is coliforms, genital area or else (skin, etc.). These are all preventive measures.

In other words, I emphasize you should not worry about one episode only. If you keep always clean, then, forget about that episode and focus on not to repeat now on.

Hope this answers your queries.
Let me know if you need further assistance. I'll do my best to help.
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Albana Sejdini 2 hours later
Hi Dr Albana,

That's okay, no worries
I really appreciate your response :)

Will there be a chance that the dry discharge can cause us to become sick or a disease?
How long will you estimate it survives for on inanimate objects?
If I pick up let's say a pen/stationery items/touch a doorknob which was touched after touching that plastic with dry discharge, maybe a few minutes later, what is the likelihood of those discharge germs being present? If I touch something else afterwards, will I be recontaminating objects with dry discharge germs?
IS that the same thing when someone goes shopping without washing their hands after the toilet and proceeds to the checkout to purchase their items. Will they transfer the genitalia germs to the products we purchase? wouldn't I be recontaminating myself with germs from the person's genitalia or from the register? Isn't that how germs are transmitted?

Thank you for your response
doctor
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 18 hours later
Brief Answer:
Following answers to your questions

Detailed Answer:
Hi back my dear,

Please find the following answers to your questions:

- Dry discharge can cause us to become sick only in cases of herpes or warts.

- The germs living inside our body would live outside our body only for a few seconds mostly or minutes.

- There is no chance to touch the contaminated objects with dried discharge immediately. If this is possible, there is still low chance to get infected.

Again, try to focus on keeping good personal hygiene rather than thinking of previous, already passed episodes.
Although studies have found germs in public objects, don't forget that there are people taking care of cleaning, and following good hygienic measures.

Hope this answers to your questions.
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Albana Sejdini 7 hours later
Hi Dr Albana
If I've touched a door knob or pen after touching dry discharge on plastic, then I retouch those objects again 10 seconds later, will I be picking up dry discharge germs? Would I be contaminating other surfaces i touch with dry discharge germs throughout the day? Will those germs from dry discharge die straight away once they reach a pen or door knob because the temperature of these items is not efficient enough for them to survive? But once I touch the pen or door knob again, will I be harbouring dry discharge germs again because the temperature of our bodies? Thank you
Or once dry discharge from our hands come in contact with inanimate objects, the dry discharge would have died therefore even if we touch those objects again a few seconds later, we wouldn't be picking up dry discharge germs from that particular object because they are dead? But if we touch these inanimate objects that had dry discharge on it which had previously died, wouldn't the dry discharge germs become alive again on our hands because of our warm temperature on our hands? What if I had dry discharge hands and touched a pen which I held for the entire time until someone wanted to borrow it, would the dry discharge germs immediately die coming in contact with a pen or Will they still be kept alive because of the warm body contact of the other person who held the pen? How are the dry discharge germs suppose to die now? Wouldn't it become a continuous cycle of touching objects and having dead dry discharge cells and contaminating other objects which you touch because of your body temp? How do we break the cycle?

Is it kind of expected that items we buy from shops may not be as clean as we thought, especially when we use self service registers where people do not wash their hands after coming from the toilet and purchase items. The germs they spread at the register, wouldn't they be picked up by us because of our warm body temperature and onto our items the next time we use them? Or will those genitalia germs die when in contact with plastic, cardboard etc and have no chance of surviving on our hands the next time we pick up the item because the germs have died and will not survive on our hands?

What about studies where people have found e.coli on credit cards? Does that mean every time they purchase an item or touch something such as inanimate objects, they are spreading e coli around while shopping and other household products? Does that mean their hands are contaminated with e coli every time they come in contact with objects?

Really sorry for all these questions, I'm having anxiety attacks worrying and would really appreciate your help !!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Don't get anxiety attacks unnecessarily...

Detailed Answer:
Hi back my dear,

I can see that you are getting anxious unnecessarily.

Now, to answer your questions:
- if you touch your intimate parts, and touch one object, and then after 10 seconds you will touch that object again, then, you have no chance to get infected.

- furthermore, the dried discharge is from you , so you can't be infected with what's yours (including when touching credit card; so far no study I've seen regarding E.coli on credit cards)

- even in cases of other people, they will have less chance to get infected because:
1. immune system defense that will kill what's bad and keep us clean although exposure to risk
2. there are cleaning people that keep cleaning and wiping (which minimizes the chances to get infected).

So, enjoy life and don't get anxious unnecessarily.
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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