Research Topic

Skin Microbiome - The Health Benefits of Probiotics

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About this Research Topic

Background: The microbiome is the symbiosis between the host and the microbiota made up of all the microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses) living in a specific part of the human body. Numerous papers have described a link between health and the gut or skin microbiomes.

After the gut, ...

Background: The microbiome is the symbiosis between the host and the microbiota made up of all the microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses) living in a specific part of the human body. Numerous papers have described a link between health and the gut or skin microbiomes.

After the gut, the skin microbiota is the second largest human microbiome. It is mostly characterized by specific bacterial and fungal species belonging to Firmicutes (Staphylococcus) , Actinobacteria ( Propionibacterium, Cutibacterium) and Fungi ( Malassezia sp. ). In commensal conditions, these strains can serve multiple functions for the skin, from barrier protection against pathogenic microorganisms, to the maturation-stimulation of the innate immune system.

The composition of the skin microbiota changes over the course of our lives, and a change in the number and diversity of its constituents has been associated with various diseases (for example an increase of Staphylococcus aureus in Psoriasis and in atopic dermatitis) and aging. Factors such as immune dysfunction, and dysbiosis, can result in some strains of the skins commensal microbiota to transform into a pathogenic form. An example of this can be seen with subtypes of Cutibacterium, which can have a commensal form crucial to maintaining skin microbiome balance, and a pathogenic form invoked in acneic skin disorders. An important and emerging prevention and treatment option for maintaining skin health and improving skin conditions are probiotics.

Goal: Probiotics are live microorganisms or components of dead bacteria that are safe and free of vectors, which, when administered in specific doses, can confer health benefits by strengthening innate immunity through the gut and more recently, through the skin. It is well known that probiotics can have various health benefits.

Probiotics can have great potential in the prevention and treatment of skin disorders including eczema, atopic dermatitis, acne, allergic skin inflammation, skin hypersensitivity, UV-induced skin damage, and wound healing. Several clinical studies have indicated that probiotics can have effects in cutaneous apparatus directly or indirectly that can be considerable from versatile aspects. Probiotics activities on skin disorders by topical route, can be explained by i) a direct effect at the site of application by enhancing the skins natural defense barriers and ii) the production of antimicrobial peptides that benefit cutaneous immune responses and eliminate pathogens as commensal strains.

In the field of cosmetics, probiotics can be applied to the skin microbiota directly and increase selectively the activity and growth of beneficial 'normal' skin microbiota. Some probiotic cosmetics targeting scalp disorders like dandruffs, skin care like acne, and body care in hygiene are already on the market.

Scope: In this Research, we therefore welcome submissions exploring the benefits of probiotics in skin conditions and skin health. We welcome manuscripts on but not limited to the following sub-themes:
1. Direct impacts of probiotics on skin commensal bacteria, skin barrier function, underlying immune cells, and consequently interactions therein.
2. Exploring the gut-skin axis and the role of gut dysbiosis in skin disorders and microbiome unbalance.
3. The impact of oral probiotics on the gut-skin axis.
4. The benefits or impact of topical probiotics in skincare.


Dr. Lionel Breton is employed by L’Oréal Research and Innovation (France), and Dr. Carine Blanchard is employed by Nestlé Research Center (Switzerland). The other Topic Editors declare no conflict of interests with regards to the Research Topic theme .


Keywords: Skin Microbiome, Probiotics, Dysbiosis, Gut-Skin Axis, Immune system


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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