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A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2000 December;135(6):723-6

language: Italian

Balanoposthitis due to Staphylococcus aureus

D’Antuono A., Andalò F., Bianchi T., Carlà E. M.

Università degli Studi - Bologna Policlinico S.Orsola-Malpighi - Bologna Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica Specialistica e Sperimentale Sezione di Clinica Dermatologica
(Direttore: Prof. C. Varotti)


The etiology of balanoposthitis is wide: irritant, traumatic or, more often, infective origins are involved. Bacteria are the second most common cause of infectious balanoposthitis (fungal infections coming first), but the role played by many of them is difficult to assess because they can act both as pathogen or saprophyte. Staphylococcus aureus is frequently a component of subpreputial bacterial flora and it has been rarely reported in the literature as a cause of balanoposthitis. The case of a 23-year-old man who came to our department 2 days after the onset of an erythemato-erose painful lesions, of irregular shape, located on the glands penis and the internal prepuce, is reported. Cytodiagnostic examination revealed no balloniform cells; yeasts were not found at microscopy and potassium hydroxide test was negative. Swab taken from the edge of the lesions revealed the presence of S. aureus. The patient was treated with topical mupirocin 2% and one intramuscular administration of ceftriaxone 1 g, which led to complete recovery in a few days. The prompt antibiotical measures, on account of the acute and rapidly extensive rising of painful lesions, together with microbiological results probably prevented a greater diffusion of infection. It is underlined that diagnosis based only on the clinical pattern without laboratoristic data exposes patients to the risk of therapeutic mistakes and of consequent complications.

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