Skin & Bacteria

I’ve been doing some research into bacteria that lives on the skin, and in particular on the face – so we can know what to expect from the results on Monday from our swabs.

On Feb.5, the National Academy of Sciences released a study on bacteria residing on the human skin. The report, lead by Dr. Martin Blaser, a microbiologist for the New York University School of Medicine, found that over 182 types of bacteria live on the surface of our skin. The research was conducted by obtaining cotton swab samples from six healthy people and analyzing the types of bacteria that live there. This is not dissimilar to the process we carried out on Friday, swabbing Mell’s face – so hopefully we will get some great and varying results.

Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Propionibacteria and Corynebacteria make up about half the population, and this can vary depending on the sex of the human – could we do one male head and one female head and see the differences? Could be interesting to look at sex.

“The skin is like a desert. It is mostly dry, but there are areas of your skin that are streams: These moist creases behind your ear and under your neck, for example, and in these moist areas there is a great density of bacteria living there, there are also these oases, like in your nose or in your belly button, that have a huge diversity of bacteria. This may begin to explain why, while our skin is primarily dry, there is a huge diversity of bacteria that can grow on our skin.”

When looking to research bacteria strains specifically on the face, there is little information apart from that about acne and how bacteria effects the quality of your skin. I’m trying to find some photos – but perhaps it’s best to wait until the plates come back on Monday to see what we have found.


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