The Skin Microbiome: Why it’s so important to your health
- Why You Need to Start Taking Care of Your Skin Microbiome
Why You Need to Start Taking Care of Your Skin Microbiome
Does the term “skin microbiome” sound familiar to you? Well, it isn’t a surprise because only a few people have heard about it. You already know that it is crucial to care for your skin from head to toe. However, the big question is, “when did you remember to check the condition of your skin microbiome?”
Skin microbiota (another name for skin microbiome) is a collection of bacteria on the skin surface. Your skin microbiome helps to guard your body and overall health against harmful pathogens. A balanced microbiome keeps your skin feeling and looking healthy. However, in the presence of less friendly bacteria and more harmful ones, your skin microbiome can be unbalanced. It may then lead to itching and dryness of the skin.
Now let us discuss the benefits of skin microbiome on our general well-being;
Communicates with our immune system
Initially, we assumed that dermal layers located beneath the skin surface were sterile. We also believed that our microbiome lay on the skin surface. However, recent studies have revealed otherwise. Scientists conducted in-depth research in 2013 concerning the position of microbes in our dermis. It was discovered up to the deep layers of subcutaneous fat. Those layers happen to be the point where vital communication between our immune system and the microbiome happens. Although, more studies are necessary and underway.
Protects us against infections
A good gut microbiome crowds out an overgrowth of pathogens, just like a healthy microbiome protects the skin from infections. This statement is according to scientific evidence. The skin microbiome thrives better in an acidic environment with a pH of about 5.0, which does not permit the growth of bacteria.
The immune system of the body and the skin microbiome communicate regularly, thereby inhibiting inflammation. In case the microbiome level becomes unbalanced, the immune system can help balance it out with several antimicrobial peptides like cathelicidin. Additionally, a good bacterial reservoir in the immune system can slow down the production of inflammatory substances.
Protects us from environmental aggressors
The skin microbiome helps to heal wounds sustained on the body, reduces oxidative damages, maintains moist and plump skin, and minimizes susceptibility to allergies. Recent studies have disclosed that it can prevent the effects of unfriendly UV rays. Scientists conducted a test and discovered that mice that had the bacteria staphylococcus epidermidis developed fewer tumors when exposed to UV rays, unlike the mice without the bacteria.
Good vs. bad bacteria, balanced microbiome is the key point
It is a known fact that when we look good, we feel good. And that stems from the way our skin is conditioned to prevent excessive evaporation, hence keeping it hydrated and supple. Skin barriers like the microbiome help to achieve that and also prevent invasion from foreign infections. Therefore, if the barrier is destroyed by keeping the microbiome unbalanced, our skin becomes vulnerable to unwanted infections.
The skin is our body’s largest organ, and it houses a variety of viruses, fungi, and bacteria making up the microbiota. Just like the gut microbiome, the skin microbiome is responsible for keeping you safe and healthy.
Despite the pollution, environmental effects, minor scrapes, or sun damage, as long as you are healthy, your skin microbiome can be trusted to remain stable over the years, even if you are an adult. However, the skin barrier can lose its natural balance if compromised.
The way to a healthy skin microbiome
Although you may have heard this adage before: “a healthy skin stems from the inside,” but it is worth repeating. Hence, eating a healthy and balanced diet can make you feel great and provide the necessary nutrients needed to protect your skin from harmful pathogens.
For starters, promote healthy gut bacteria by eating healthy foods to enhance microbial diversity. Consume foods that contain probiotics (like kefir and yogurt) and prebiotic (like onions, oats, legumes, garlic, soy milk, and leeks). Those foods can help stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria on the skin and treat acne. A publication in the Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition journal reveals that you can prevent or treat skin diseases by using probiotic supplements to address your problems.
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