Publication Date

7-16-2014

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Biology

Abstract

Many microbes live in a mutualistic relationship with the human body, make up the human microbiome, and play a role in our health by modulating the immune system. Man is “covered” inside and outside his body with millions of microbes to maintain normal bodily functions and sustain life in our changing world. The skin is the largest organ in the human body and is colonized by millions of microbes. This external colonization of the integumentary system is termed our skin microbiome. Man cannot see it (except with a microscope), but we need it for normal functioning, certainly in a pathogenic world. This article focuses on the skin microbiome, its benefits, and role in creation.

Resident skin bacteria are highly diverse, and an understanding of the skin microbiome is necessary to gain insight into microbial involvement in human skin diseases and disorders. The normal skin microbiota provides clues to the pre-Fall function of bacteria. It is “normal” and critical for our body’s health to be symbiotically inhabited by microbes such as beneficial bacteria. God’s very good creation likely included microbes on the skin, and these can provide clues for human health in the future. The skin microbiome may enable novel probiotic and antibiotic approaches.

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