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  1. Home
  2. The Concept of Skin Microbiome

The Concept of Skin Microbiome

All of us know that skin being the largest organ of the human body, is occupied by the various advantageous microorganisms that serve as a physical barrier for the prevention of the entry of the pathogens. 

Let's study about the concept of SKIN MICROBIOME and discuss the following points:

What is Skin Microbiome?

The skin microbiome is also known as microbiota or the microflora that simply describes all the microorganisms present on the skin surface. The skin microbiome majorly depends upon the gender, age, environment, location and the type of cosmetic products that are used on the skin.

We can say that the composition of a person's skin microbiome is as unique as their DNA. Many of the microorganisms colonized on the skin are advantageous for human health and the skin.

Composition of Skin microbiome

The composition of the skin microbiome is primarily dependent upon the physiology of the skin. The human skin is categorized according to its physiological characteristics, that is, dry skin, oily skin, moist skin and a combination of oily and dry skin. Sebaceous (oily) sites of the skin are dominated by the lipophilic Propionibacterium species and propionibacterium acnes is generally responsible for causing acne.


Similarly in the moist areas, Corynebacterium species are abundant. The composition of the fungal community present on the skin are similar across the body regardless of the physiology.

Like in the gut, the microorganisms present there are known as gut microbiota or gut microbiome. Similarly the surface of our skin contains millions of viruses, bacteria and fungi and community composition of these microorgansims composes the skin microbiome or the skin microbiota.  These different microorganisms are harmless and perform vital functions.

One of the major roles of these microorganisms is educating various cells of the skin about how to respond to the pathogenic reactions.


Role of Skin Microbiome

The skin is the largest organ of the human body and acts as the physical barrier and performs a lot of functions. This barrier is broken in several circumstances and when it is broken and the balance between the pathogens and the skin microorganisms is disturbed, it leads to various skin or even systemic diseases.

The composition of the human skin microbiome and the disturbance in the uppermost layer of the skin that is the stratum corneum is directly related to the health of the skin and can increase various skin conditions like allergies, acne, eczema etc.


Skin microbiome plays an important role in maintaining the health of the skin, supporting the immune system and also the beauty and personal care.

Key Role of the skin microbiome:

  • Skin microorganisms use the finely scattered nutrients present on the skin for performing different functions.
  • Many of the microorganisms present on the skin surface produce molecules that hamper the occupancy of the other harmful microorganisms and also changes their actions.
  • Skin microorganisms play an important role in guiding the adaptive and natural arms of the skin's immune system.
  • Many of the skin diseases are associated with the skin microbiome and can be reversed or prevented by the alteration of the skin microbiota depending upon the type of the disease or the skin condition.
  • The composition of the microbiota helps in clarifying the causation of the various skin disorders on the specific skin sites such as psoriasis on the outer part of the elbow or eczema inside the elbow.

Tips for maintaining a healthy skin microbiome

1. Eat a proper diet and hydrate


As we all know that diet plays an important role in maintaining the health of the skin. A balanced diet that is rich in proteins, fibres, vegetables and healthy fats, helps to turn up the skin microbiome by helping the bacteria of the gut. Don't forget to drink at least 2 litres of water every day. To feed the skin microbiome, try to sweat yourself daily once a day.

2. Avoid wearing synthetic fibres

Always try to wear natural fibre like cotton over the synthetic fibres. Wearing tight clothes or the synthetic fibres causes an imbalance in the skin microbiome. As we have discussed earlier, the skin microbiome is different at different body sites and parts of the skin and if we wear clothes that cause a rise in the body temperature or cause the production of excess sweat or the sebum, in this condition a good skin microbiome cannot flourish.

3. Proper cleansing and drying of the skin

There is a very fine line between having good hygiene and overdoing it. Always try to avoid the use of harsh cleansers and the over washing. Always choose a gentle cleanser. While scrubbing your face, always try to rub your face gently because an excess of rubbing can cause friction that can peel off the healthy microbes from the skin. 


When it comes to drying the skin, always pat dry your skin with a clean cloth and vigorous rubbing should be avoided.

Therefore we got to know that our skin has billions of microbes that generally refer to skin microbiome. The microorganisms that are present naturally on the skin are generally harmless and play beneficial roles in the body's immune system and the appearance of the skin. So it is clear that all the microorganisms are not harmful to the human body but they are beneficial too.

Future studies are being done by the researchers from the skin samples and also the hair follicles samples to know more about the viruses, fungi and bacterial communities like Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis and many more.


  • What is skin's microbiome?

The skin microbiome is also known as microbiota or the microflora that simply describes all the microorganisms present on the skin surface. Like in the gut, the surface of our skin contains millions of viruses, bacteria and fungi that generally compose the skin microbiome or the skin microbiota.

  • Does your skin have a microbiome?

Yes, just like the gut, the skin has a community of friendly microorganisms known as skin microbiome or skin flora. It is an invisible ecosystem that keeps the skin healthy and in a good condition.

  • How can I restore my microbiome skin?

From the traditional time, people use yoghurt and kombucha (black or green tea) and also many fermented foods to beautify the skin and nowadays prebiotics which are the friendly microbes are beneficial for the skin in numerous ways.

  • How can I protect my skin microbiome?

Diet plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the skin. Eating a balanced diet that is rich in vegetables, proteins, fibres and healthy fats helps the skin microbiome. Don't forget to drink at least 2 litres of water every day.

Health, Beauty & Wellness Writer

M.Sc. In Bioinformatics

Being in the field of writing for many years, this bioinformatician knows her work well. With great knowledge of technology and science, she is dedicated to present all the science-backed information in the possible simplest way

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