The microbiome of the gastrointestinal tract has been at the forefront of skin care research, but in the last few years the actual skin microbiome has become a focal point for research on inflammatory dermatological conditions like atopic dermatitis (AD).1,2 The human skin is home to about over million bacteria, fungi and virus per centimeter where species vary depending on a variety of factors including: location on the body, environment, sex, age, diet, and hygiene.1 More and more people are becoming susceptible to dermatological conditions due to new lifestyle changes that can potentially alter the microbiome into a state of dysbiosis. Research has shown that introducing certain probiotics topically can treat different conditions by counteracting the imbalance of the microbiome, enhancing skin barrier functions, preventing biofilm formation, and encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria on the skin.1,3 However, research has also shown that different strains of bacteria have different effects on the microbiome. For instance, Staphylococcus epidermidis promotes skin immune functions while Staphylococcus aureus does the opposite causing an imbalance in the microbiome and making the skin susceptible to pathogenesis.1,3 Understanding the different effects that certain microbiota have on the microbiome of the skin could lead to huge advancements in the skin care world. With every study, scientists get one step closer to cracking the code of how to hack the microbiome of the skin and personalize treatment options for a variety of skin conditions. Nevertheless, one biggest obstacles that they will have to consider is how diverse these microbiomes are from one person to the next.2
1. Cates T (2019) Enhancing the Skin Microbiome to Address Inflammatory Dermatologic Conditions. Townsend Letter:50-51.
2. Euromonitor International. 2019. The role of microbiome in the evolution of skincare [PowerPoint slides].
3. JCI Insight. 2018 May 3;3(9). pii: 120608. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.120608.