We tend to neglect some parts of the body when we clean them. This can take revenge in the form of skin diseases.
Some parts of the body sometimes get too little attention from us in the shower. These include the belly button, the skin behind the ears or between the toes. These areas may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of keeping clean. Still, researchers at George Washington University point out that incredibly unhealthy strains of bacteria and microbes accumulate in these areas if you consistently neglect them while showering.
Like our stomachs, human skin is home to millions of microscopic viruses, bacteria and fungi, which are beneficial and help defend against pathogens. The study now shows that the composition of the human skin microbiome varies in dry, moist and oily skin regions, with the skin behind the ears and between the toes being particularly prone to unhealthy microbial accumulation. Study participants were used to determine whether these body regions are home to more harmful microbes.
The researchers enlisted the help of 129 undergraduates to swab certain moist and oily hotspots on their bodies, including behind the ears, between the toes, and in the navel. Each student also collected samples from dry control areas such as the calves or forearms.
Samples from the forearms and calves were found to have a more diverse (and potentially healthier) group of microbes than the other hotspots. This is explained by calves and arms being cleaned more frequently and thoroughly during personal hygiene. “Bad” microbes can alter the skin’s bacterial balance in ways that harm health. This can result in skin diseases such as eczema or acne. Thus, it has been proven that cleansing habits can alter the microbes living on the skin and its overall health.
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