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Prebiotics: what role do they play in our skin?


Far from causing harm, these microorganisms that inhabit the dermis are essential to keep it healthy, strong and beautiful. Find out what role they play.


We know that the skin is the largest organ in the human body and acts as the first line of physical and immune defense.

This layer is inhabited by an "invisible" community in which, although we cannot perceive it with the naked eye, there is a large number of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi, which are very beneficial for the dermis.

As a physical and immunological barrier, in addition to contributing to your health and beauty, the skin or skin barrier plays a fundamental role in defending against environmental pollution, UV radiation, among other external agents that favor the appearance of inflammatory and allergic diseases.

The type and quantity of microorganisms changes depending on their location (due to characteristics such as humidity and heat).

For example, the same bacteria are not found on the face as on other parts of the body, such as the armpits or feet.

After years of scientific research, we know that, in addition to the skin barrier, there is another line of defense that protects the skin from external aggressions: the skin flora.

It is made up of bacteria that are naturally present in the human body.

It is estimated that about 200 grams of our weight are bacteria that inhabit our body and that, overall, we have the same number of human cells as bacteria.

The places where we find more bacteria are the colon, then dental plaque, saliva, the small intestine and the skin.

The skin flora plays a protective role in the skin as it competes with pathogenic microorganisms and prevents or makes it difficult for them to grow or reproduce.

In addition to being called skin flora, it is also known as the microbiota (set of living microorganisms that we normally have in the body) of the skin, or microbiome (the genome of the microbiota, that is, the set of genes of the microorganisms that inhabit in our body) skin.

What happens if the defensive barrier is weakened?

Pathogens will settle more easily causing inflammation and infection in the short term and, in the long term, aging.

If the microbiome is unbalanced, even if we restore the skin barrier, the symptoms of dehydration and sensitivity will reappear and even tend to worsen, which ensures that, in order to maintain healthy skin, we need to strengthen the barrier function and maintain the balance of the skin microbiome.

Prebiotics have a calming effect, softening the skin and decreasing skin reactivity, thus eliminating the feeling of tightness.

In addition, they protect, balancing the pH and defending against imbalances and stress, which cause inflammation, redness and imperfections.

They also fulfill the function of moisturizing, allowing to maintain a balance between water loss and reserves, avoiding skin flaking;

They have an anti-wrinkle effect, since the micro-relief of the skin is smoothed (it is restructured and wrinkles due to dehydration decrease).

Finally, an immediate tightening action is produced, providing luminosity and an immediate lifting effect.

There are factors, both internal and external, that can alter this bacterial balance on the skin.

In the internal factors, one of the most frequent is atopic dermatitis, and of the external ones, it is excessive cleaning, which weakens the normal and protective flora, for this reason, it is important to avoid excessive washing of the skin surface.

Can the amount of prebiotics in our skin be increased?

Currently, there are no studies that show the real benefit of creams with prebiotics, but there is more evidence of the possible efficacy of oral probiotics in the regeneration of flora and their benefit in patients with atopic dermatitis.

The incorporation and daily use of prebiotics, applied locally, can positively influence the composition and balance of the skin 'community'.

They protect and make the skin more resistant to conditions in general and to inflammation caused by certain diseases, such as psoriasis or rosacea.

As with any product for cosmetic use, a prior visit to a dermatologist is always essential to indicate which is the best option for the skin type and how to correctly incorporate it into the daily routine.

Advice: Dr. Johanna Furlan – Cosmetic Surgeon.


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Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-03-21

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