This study examined the skin microbiome (skin bacteria) of 75 Egyptian patients with atopic dermatitis (AD), compared to 20 health controls. It was found that the bacterial diversity of skin microbiome in patients with AD was less than those of the healthy subjects. Eczema children, adolescents and adults have bacteria, Streptococcus, Cutibacterium, and Corynebacterium, while Staphylococcus was noted as a potential biomarker candidate for AD. These bacteria also exacerbated eczema. Total immunoglobulin E (IgE – antibodies that reacts to an allergen, causing allergic reaction) levels were positively correlated with certain Staph bacteria.
What it means for Eczema Skincare
The skin microbiome of eczema children is different from normal skin, which has been covered in-depth in this Staph Bacteria on Eczema Skin series with past president of American Academy of Dermatology, Dr Clay Cockerell. Limiting staph bacteria colonization on eczema skin is one of the recommended therapeutics, with one of the most commonly heard of ways to reduce staph bacteria being the bleach bath. Reducing staph bacteria is also one of the skincare aspect which my daughter’s doctor (and also co-author for Living with Eczema: Mom Asks, Doc Answers) recommended us to work on.
You can talk the same to your doctor whether the use of anti-microbial cleanser, swimming (literally a ‘fun’ way to kill the harmful skin bacteria, while splashing and soaking in the pool!) or chlorhexidine gluoconate wipe (it is cheaper if you purchase a bottle at the pharmacy and pour on disposal cotton pad to wipe skin, rather than buy the ready-made wipes. The bottle can be stored in fridge) at eczema lesions area are appropriate. We tried all the above, and even now, regularly uses an anti-microbial cleanser. You can also explore some baby clothing made with silver or bamboo material with anti-microbial properties.
Other Skin Bacteria Studies
Current Allergy & Asthma Reports, November 2015
In this study, it was noted that Staphylococcus aureus colonization on AD skin had been directly correlated to eczema severity. It was thus important to study how skin bacteria affect skin inflammation.
Journal of Cutaneous Medicine & Surgery, January 2016
It was also noted in this study that skin bacterial diversity is smaller than in healthy subjects. Through a panel of Canadian dermatologists, the consensus was that:
(1) In atopic patients, the skin microbiome of lesional atopic skin is different from nonlesional skin in adjacent areas.
(2) Worsening atopic dermatitis and smaller bacterial diversity are strongly associated.
(3) Application of emollients containing antioxidant and antibacterial components may increase microbiome diversity in atopic skin.
Have you found something that works? Share in the comments if you have found reducing staph bacteria to be helpful in managing your child’s eczema. I’m bringing back a new season of Someone has Eczema series, please let me know if you like to share your story to encourage all of us.