The microbes on human skin (its microbiome) plays an important role in both health and disease.
Biofilms are a critical element in certain skin diseases.
Skin-associated microbe include:
- Staphylococcus epidermidis– can cause wound infections, boils, sinus infections, endocarditis and other inflammations. It can survive for a long time in ‘hiding places’ in the body, where it is not noticed by the immune system, and so not attacked by the immune system.
- Propionibacterium acnes– is linked to the skin condition of acne; it can also cause chronic blepharitis and endophthalmitis, the latter particularly following intraocular
- Malassezia spp. – yeasts inhabiting the skin and mucosal membranes of humans and animals. They are involved in a variety of skin disorders and may cause bloodstream infections in severely immunocompromised patients.
- Staphylococcus aureus – a bacterium that about 30% of people carry in their noses. Most of the time it causes no harm; however, sometimes it can cause infections.
- Candida albicans – an opportunistic pathogenic yeast that is common in the human gut. It can also survive outside the human body. When it grows as the predominant species in the community of skin microbes, thrush can occur. Thrush is usually not serious, but treatment is often important to relieve uncomfortable symptoms.
This page is still under development. Can you help us complete it? Please contact us.
Acne is linked to skin biofilms formed by certain bacteria. Cutibacterium acnes is one of the most abundant bacteria on the skin. It prefers to live in sebaceous and moist areas of the skin like the forehead, neck and back. It is particularly abundant in the sebaceous follicles where it feeds on the sebum produced by […]
Staphylococcus epidermidis is a type of bacterium that lives on the top layers of our skin (the epidermis) and is usually harmless. This bacterium is found all over our body, but it loves to live in moist places where we sweat from, like our armpits. Staphylococcus epidermidis has an important job on the skin. It teaches our […]
Disease and wounding
Skin is our main defensive barrier and it’s there to keep us protected and healthy. However, when we get cuts on our skin this barrier is broken, increasing the risk of pathogens getting in and causing infections. Biofilms make disease and wounding infections more resistant. Skin that is damaged due to an injury isn’t the […]