Healthy skin flora − the best protection against dangerous pathogens

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Skin awareness and seasonal

Healthy skin flora – the best protection against dangerous pathogens


At 1 to 2 square metres, the skin is our largest organ. It actually is a real multi-talent covering a multitude of tasks: the skin is its own immune organ, a metabolic organ, a sensory organ and regulates temperature and water balance. It also protects us against “attackers” such as dangerous bacteria, fungi, or viruses. And it is precisely this ability that we would like to take a closer look at today. Because it is this very function of our skin – as a perfect “protective shield” – that has recently become the subject of great interest from science and industry!!!



How can our skin defend itself against “enemies” such as illness causing pathogens?

To do so it needs strong defences.

“Skin barrier” is a widely known term. It describes a protective layer of the skin made up of horny cells, fats and proteins and is difficult to penetrate. In other words, a kind of “outer protective wall”.  Another widely known term is “acid mantle” referring to a hydrolipid film (film of fats and water) on the skin formed by sweat and sebaceous glands with a slightly acidic pH value of about 4.5. But hardly anyone knows that our skin – like our intestines – is covered by a living protective layer!  This is called the  skin flora – or scientifically microbiome.

In fact, about 6 trillion microorganisms including bacteria, fungi and viruses are responsible for keeping our skin flora healthy. To achieve this they envelope and protect our skin like a living mantle.

It is also particularly exciting that our skin flora is unique and individual, like our fingerprint.


Why is a healthy skin flora so important anyway?

If our microbiome gets out of balance, it is easy for unwanted germs to colonise the skin and make it sick. The microbiome/skin flora plays a major role in very sensitive skin or diseases such as neurodermatitis or acne.   Equally exciting, however, are recent studies that clearly illustrate the connection between a healthy intestinal flora and a healthy skin flora!  This also confirms the still under-researched connections between food intolerances/allergies and beautiful skin.



What is important for healthy skin?

We have heard so far that an intact skin barrier + the acid mantle + a healthy skin flora, are important for healthy and beautiful skin!

Here are some tips to keep these important protective functions healthy for as long as possible:

– Vitamins, trace elements and minerals

– PH neutral skincare products and cleansing

– When intensively cleaning the skin – in times of Corona, constant hand washing has become the norm – make sure to use high-quality skincare products (hand cream) (“re-grease”).

– Use natural oils directly in skin care products – either unprocessed or processed – as they are easily absorbed into the skin barrier and the hydrolipid film (no paraffin oils!).

– Dry, sensitive or allergic eczema skin needs extra care to maintain its protective functions.

– Always use skincare that is appropriate for your skin type. Excessiveky oily or aggressive creams for acne skin, for example, can make the skin barrier become “permeable” and acne bacteria multiply.


Yours, Dr. Sabine Schwarz