Introduction to skin microflora
What is microflora?
We usually think of our skin only as it relates to beauty, but it's actually really important to our overall health. After all, it is the largest organ in the body, and the major interface between us and the outside world.
Apart from its known functions – protective barrier function, body temperature regulator and stimulus sensor - our skin is also an ecosystem to a diverse and vast array of micro-organisms. Research is just beginning to piece together the important role they play in our health.
The entirety of micro-organisms living on and in the human body is defined as microbiome- your body’s healthy bacteria. It is also called microbiota or microflora. Your skin bacteria are your body’s own personal rainforest. It requires both care and protection.
The microbiome strengthens your skin’s protective barrier. It aids in wound healing, limits exposure to allergens and defends your skin against UV radiation, minimizes oxidative damage, and keeps the skin plump and moist. When you protect and care for your skin the right way, you nourish your microbiome as well.
Many factors contribute to variation in the skin microbiome.
Age and gender affects the type of microbiome. For instance, a hormonal, sweaty teenage boy has a very different microbiome than a post-menopausal woman. The skin microbiome changes depending on the host’s physical environment and climate, life style and health condition. The bacteria also vary depending on the amount of light and whether the area is moist, dry, hairy, or oily.
Disruptions in the balance on either side of the equation can result in skin disorders or infections.
Your microbiome is unique, fragile and of great importance to you. Protect and care for it.