Negligence in skin washing, particularly in areas that are usually "forgotten", can have a significant impact on the skin microbiome and human health.
Scientists from the George Washington University's Institute for Computational Biology have come to a conclusion that confirms the "grandmother hypothesis," IFLScience writes, citing a study published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.
Scientists studied the skin microbiome, that is, the unique community of microorganisms that inhabit human skin. Particular attention was paid to the variations between skin areas such as the hands and those that are usually not washed, such as the navel and behind the ears.
Director of the Institute of Computational Biology and Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Kate Crandall, even recalled her grandmother, who always emphasized the importance of washing "forgotten" areas such as behind the ears, between the toes and in the navel. The researchers decided to test this hypothesis.
The study took skin samples from 129 graduate and undergraduate students from several areas of the body, including the forearms, hands, behind the ears, between the toes, and belly button. The students then learned how to sequence the DNA in these samples and compared the microbial communities in the clean and forgotten areas.
The study confirmed that the forgotten areas contained a less diverse microbiome, which can lead to an unhealthy collection of microbes. They also noted that the stability of skin bacteria can vary by region and subject.
The skin microbiome plays an important role in health, and a lack of balance can lead to harmful effects such as eczema and acne. This study was an important step in exploring the relationship between the microbiome and human health.
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