The Skin Microbiome - New Ideas for Treating Eczema.

The Skin Microbiome - New Ideas for Treating Eczema.

Anne Fairchild McVey

Skin Microbiota (Bacteria) – New Research May Help Treat Eczema.

Microbiome is a word just coming to the forefront of health. A few decades ago it was an unknown word in the medical community. We now know that everyone has their own microbiome – good bacteria in the gut and skin that keeps us balanced and can prevent disease. New attention to the skin microbiome is showing promise to rebalancing skin especially skin that has disease such as eczema.

Our skin is the largest organ in our body. When it is not working properly our health can suffer. The skin is a protective barrier and it must stay in tact to keep us disease free. Much can enter the body through our skin. When the skin is healthy and the barrier is in tact it is waterproof and does not allow the environment to penetrate our bodies. When the skin is compromised, the human body can experience a multitude of problems.

The human skin naturally has an ecosystem of it’s own with billions of microbes or bacteria. This microbiome is established at birth and is greatly affected by a natural birth or a c-section.  It is also affected by medication (orally and topically especially anti-biotics) personal hygiene products used on the skin and what clothes are worn. Below are some tips to help keep your skin's microbiome in balance.

Products: Be careful of products that contain fragrance, perfume, preservatives, and synthetic ingredients as it can greatly alter your skin's microbiome. This includes cleansers, lotions, medications and make-up. Consider replacing old makeup as it can harbor bacteria that can upset your skin. Only use products that are natural and organic or hypoallergenic.

Clothing: Only wear natural fiber clothing. Synthetic clothing does not breath and can harbor bacteria not native to your ecosystem. If you have skin issues, such as eczema, TENCEL® eczema clothing has been proven superior for individuals that suffer from eczema and sensitive skin. 100% cotton clothing is the next best option. Never wear wool or polyester.  

New Microbiome Skin Products: New research is looking into helping to support or reinstating your skin’s natural microbiome. Replacing bacteria on the skin such as applying probiotics is cutting edge and there is a lot of learning but much promise on the horizon for treating skin diseases such as eczema. There are new products coming to the market to promote healthy skin bacteria. We will be watching these products and the research and will keep you updated on their advancements so stay tuned.