John Libbey Eurotext

European Journal of Dermatology

Face and body sponges: beauty aids or potential microbiological reservoir? Volume 13, issue 6, November - December 2003

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Authors
Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Sezione di Dermatologia, Università di Ferrara, Via Savonarola 9, 44100 Ferrara, Italy Laboratorio Analisi Chimico‐Cliniche e Microbiologia, Azienda Arcispedale S. Anna, Ferrara, Italy
  • Key words: cellulose and nylon sponges, Gram‐positive and Gram‐negative bacterial species, microbiological investigation
  • Page(s) : 571-3
  • Published in: 2003

Small natural or synthetic sponges are commonly used in daily hygiene and in removing make‐up. In our study we try to assess the role of sponges as reservoirs and vehicles in the transmission of potentially pathogenic bacterial species. We demonstrate that numerous Gram‐negative and Gram‐positive bacterial species are detectable in sponges after normal use by the healthy population. The most common bacteria to be found are Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in both cellulose and nylon sponges; this observation supports the idea that the environmental factors (humidity, temperature) favour bacterial growth more than the different materials the sponges are made of. Sponges should be restricted to personal use, regularly washed, completely dried and kept in a dry place.