Let’s discover more about the skin microbiome. What is its history, its purpose? What future can we predict for it?

Despite the fact that the term “microbiome” is still quite unknown and new to most people, curiosity is growing around the subject and the skin microbiome is becoming more and more vocal!

What is the skin microbiome?

It is the millions of organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.) that live on the human skin. The microbiome represents all the genetic material of all these microbes.

Its history

Its history begins in 1880, the year of the first scientific proof of the existence of micro-organisms on a normal human system. A bacterium called Escherichia Coli, or E.Coli, was first discovered in the intestinal flora of children.

Later, new bacteria were discovered in the oral, digestive and urinary systems. Research on the human microbiota continued throughout the 20th century. It was not until the middle of the century that the skin microbiome was included.

Its functions

All the “good” bacteria in the skin will act as protection against external bacteria, which could attack or damage the skin.

The skin microbiome helps to fight infections. Indeed, skin problems such as eczema, acne or rosacea can supposedly be linked to a lack of diversity in the skin microbiome.

The future of the skin microbiome

  • Studies on the brain-gut-skin axis will help develop products that will be used to promote whole body health.
  • Research is continuing to assist in the healing of skin trauma via the microbiome.
  • Further investigation of the skin microbiome could lead to the development of future treatments to prevent or cure certain skin side effects of chronic diseases. For example, it can help prevent the spread of gangrene.
  • The use of artificial intelligence as a diagnostic tool in combination with the collection of data can discover an individual’s predisposition to certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, Crohn’s disease or even psoriasis.

Three astonishing figures:

  • 0: the number of people who have an identical skin microbiome. Just like a fingerprint! No two people have the same skin microbiome – diet, lifestyle and ethnicity all play a role in shaping the microbiome. A single person’s microbiota varies even on parts of their own body: underarms, face, hands or feet.
  • 1000: the approximate number of bacteria identified on the skin microbiome
  • 1,000,000,000 : the number of bacteria living on 1 square centimetre of skin

Source : Innoven Labskin (2020). Une Introduction Du Microbiome De La Peau. Comprendre la science derrière le microbiome cutané – Whitepaper.

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