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The skin microbiome - our hidden protective barrier

Dr. Adrian Weingart

The skin microbiome - our hidden protective barrier

Good bacteria on the skin: our useful roommates

Did you know that your body is home to more than 38 trillion microorganisms? So that means bacteria make up more than half of you! As scary as it may sound, you are not alone in your body.
It is therefore all the more astonishing that microbes used to be seen as invaders, i.e. as harmful substances or pathogens that had to be combated. Today we know that humans form a kind of symbiotic community with microbes and that this symbiosis can have positive effects on the whole organism!
The bacteria that are all over us should not be fought at all, because they can help the body to prevent really harmful substances from gaining the upper hand in our body.

Our intestinal microbiome, for example, consists of around 100 trillion different microorganisms. Strictly speaking, it is assumed that there are around 500 different types of bacteria. This variety of bacteria not only has an influence on our immune system, but can also have a positive effect on our skin.

What is our skin microbiome?

The skin is the largest sensory organ in the human body and at the same time the second largest contact area with the outside world - after the intestinal microbiome.
There are billions of living microorganisms on our skin, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa that the human eye cannot see.
The totality of microorganisms on the skin is our skin microbiome. So you can imagine the skin microbiome as a small cosmos on our body surface, because it describes the interaction of all microorganisms that settle there.

There are three main groups of bacteria found on your skin: staph bacteria, propionibacteria, and corynebacteria. Are these bacteria harmful? No. When we hear the word "bacteria" we are quickly reminded of diseases, but the opposite is true with the skin microbiome, as the bacteria's interaction with the skin strengthens the immune system to fight off germs. In order for the skin microbiome to be optimally protected, all three types must occur in a natural balance.

What is the job of our skin microbiome?

The natural equilibrium is established when there is a balance between “good” and “bad” organisms on our body. If this balance is present, the microbiome acts like a protective shield for our skin.
Pathogens can be repelled by the symbiosis of the bacteria on the skin flora. Wounds are also healed faster by our skin microbiome. The bacteria not only defend us against pathogens, they also promote the low pH value of the skin and support our immune system. The immune system thereby learns to differentiate between beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms. For this to happen, microbial contact is also required through the skin.
The defense actually works quite simply - if all accessible places and niches on the body are already inhabited by "good" bacteria, the existing microbial community prevents "newcomers" from settling and spreading on the skin . This mechanism is also called colonization resistance.
Bacteria, viruses, fungi and free radicals all want to colonize the skin's surface. Our microbiome keeps them away with a finely balanced balance. However, if the skin microbiome is unstable or out of balance (dysbiosis), the invaders sense their chance and can settle on the body. This can lead to inflammation, injury, and other skin conditions. An imbalance in your skin microbiome can be triggered, for example, by an unhealthy lifestyle or excessive care. who e.g.B suffers from acne or eczema most likely has a dysbiosis in the skin microbiome.

Influencing factors of the skin microbiome

Like our fingerprint, the microbiome of a person is unique, because the living microorganisms differ from person to person based on our DNA, age, gender and lifestyle. Under unfavorable environmental conditions (eg.B high air pollution and strong UV radiation), for example, the balance between "good" and "bad" bacteria can be seriously upset.
The skin microbiome is very complex because microbes are not evenly distributed throughout our body. The composition differs depending on the properties of the individual parts of the skin. If the skin is oily, dry or moist, it is colonized by different bacteria. Skin zones such as the armpits, the groin area or the toes, for example, are preferred by microbes that love warmth and moisture. Lipophilic microbes increasingly settle in body regions such as the face, neckline and upper back. This is a type of bacteria that you can't even get rid of by disinfecting, because they are stored in reservoirs and form again within 24 to 72 hours!
Rather dry areas like arms and legs but contain, for example, only a few microbes. It doesn't matter whether it's oily skin on the face, dry skin on the forearms or damp armpits - the microbiome adapts to the micro-ecosystem.
Fun fact: Did you know that people who live close together, e.g.B in the same room, often have a very similar microbiome? The reason for this is that living organisms exchange information with each other. For example, the skin of an embryo is free from germs, bacteria, etc. However, she absorbs the first microorganisms from the mother at birth.

How is the skin microbiome related to our bacterial colonization in the gut?

The important thing is that the intestine has a positive influence on our skin as long as it is healthy and the natural bacterial balance of the intestinal flora is in balance. A healthy lifestyle, such as a balanced diet low in meat, is helpful for this. Because when our intestines are healthy, less pollutants can be metabolized through the skin.
Skin health is related to the immune system and gut microbiome. Studies have shown that children who had low bacterial diversity in their gut were more likely to develop eczema.
Most patients with inflammatory bowel diseases also suffer from skin problems, which often result from the negative composition of the intestinal flora. An unhealthy diet or the taking of antibiotics can change the number or variety of intestinal bacteria negatively. If this happens, it usually results in a weakened immune system!
For example, an unbalanced diet or taking antibiotics can trigger a shift in the intestinal bacteria and weaken the immune system, so that inflammation can occur more easily. These weaken the skin barrier and destroy the skin flora.
Interesting here: Nowadays doctors can precisely assign which specific microorganisms change in the multitude of skin diseases (from rosacea to neurodermatitis). For example, it can be seen that in neurodermatitis too many E.Coli bacteria (which triggers the allergy-causing histamine) and too many clostrids (which promotes inflammation) are present in the intestine. Lactic acid bacteria, bifidobacteria and germs are fundamental to protect the intestinal mucosa. For rosacea, certain lactic acid bacteria, such as Lactobacillus casei, are helpful.

What bacteria are useful for our skin?

Studies show that synbiotics improve symptoms such as neurodermatitis, allergies and psoriasis if you take it for a long time period occupies. Probiotic strains with proven skin benefits include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Therefore, synbiotics like the Dailybacs capsules are also very useful for our skin. Dailybacs are synbiotics, which means on the one hand probiotics consisting of specially selected strains of bacteria and on the other hand prebiotics, which are the "food" of intestinal bacteria. They ensure that the intestinal bacteria can grow and function at their best. However, the Dailybacs also contain a third aspect, namely the important minerals and vitamins that the body needs every day. The Dailybacs capsules are tailored to the individual needs of men and women.

Which microorganisms are not good for the skin?

  • Fungi of the genus Malassezia: if they get out of hand, skin eczema can develop
  • Staphylococcus aureus: if it spreads, boils sometimes develop - a systemic infection can lead to dangerous pneumonia
  • Staphylococcus haemolyticus: belongs to the hospital germs and can cause diseases of the urinary tract or the joints
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis: can cover prostheses or catheters with a biofilm

Healthy gut - healthy skin

Finally, we see that our skin reflects the health of our gut. When our gut is healthy, our skin glows, ages slower, is less dry and is less prone to breakouts and irritation. If our intestinal flora is not in balance, then our skin suffers in terms of aesthetics and health, because skin diseases can occur. So the rule is: beauty comes from within. A varied and nutritious diet can prevent the disturbance of the intestinal flora and shows a cascade of positive effects on our overall digestion, our health and our skin. So it's the key to health and beauty!

In addition to a balanced diet, taking probiotics has also been shown to improve gut health.

In this context we have developed our Dermabacs - a synbiotic which is based on the findings of the latest microbiome science. The bacterial strains contained have been tested in clinical studies for their effectiveness against acne, rosacea and atopic dermatitis (neurodermatitis). Would you like to know more? Then click here and discover Dermabacs!

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