Sat, Nov 02, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Healthy skin has more bacteria than unhealthy skin
健康皮膚菌種多 別再拚命殺菌

Bottles of Dettol disinfectant, produced by Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, sit on display in a supermarket in London on Feb. 8.
倫敦的超市二月八日展示Reckitt Benckiser 集團製造的瓶裝Dettol 消毒劑。

Photo: Bloomberg

Modern humans love being clean and often use disinfectants when washing their faces or taking showers. A recent study shows that there are more types of symbiotic bacteria found on normal healthy skin than on diseased skin. Even on a single person, there are less bacteria on skin with dermatitis than healthy skin. If an appropriate amount of moisturizer is used to protect the skin, it allows skin surface lipid film to normalize, providing symbiotic bacteria a normal living environment that is probably beneficial to maintaining healthy skin.

In the study, French researchers tested specimens of both healthy and inflamed areas of skin from people with eczema, and found that the distribution of bacteria on healthy and inflamed skin was not the same.

Troubled skin areas have less symbiotic bacteria, but much more staphylococcus aureus, staphylococcus epidermidis and staphylococcus haemolyticus than normal, healthy skin.

After completing microbial analysis, the researchers let people with troubled skin use moisturizer twice daily. After three months, the troubled areas were reduced by 38 percent and more than a third showed a 75 percent improvement. The three main types of staphylococcus, which had increased unusually, eventually showed an obvious decrease, and the microbial distribution became similar to that of normal skin areas.

But was it really the moisturizers providing oils that allowed the damaged skin to normalize and change the microbial distribution, or was it selenium and other probiotics and prebiotics in the moisturizing products that affected the distribution of microbes? Further research is needed to answer these questions, but researchers do think this study shows that the distribution of microbes on the skin can be used to determine skin health, and even to detect minor changes in the skin earlier to prevent inflammations.


1. specimen n.

抽樣;樣本 (chou1 yang4; yang4 ben3)

例: This specimen has been contaminated. You will have to get another one for testing.


2. determine v.

判斷 (pan4 duan4)

例: We were unable to determine the cause of this effect.


3. prevent v.

預防 (yu4 fang2)

例: Getting plenty of exercise and having a healthy diet are great ways to prevent heart disease.


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)







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