Sweat-eating bacteria could improve your skin (and it’s not as gross as it sounds)

A new study from AOBiome LLC has found that bacteria can improve skin health. And not just any old bacteria: the type that suck up ammonia from sweat. Mmm, nice. It’s not as bad as it sounds, though: the batch the researchers used in their experiments was from soil. (OK, that’s only marginally better.)

Anyway, the researchers found that people who used a suspension of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) on their face and scalp for a week had skin that looked and felt better than a control group’s, even weeks after they stopped using the treatment. There were no adverse side-effects.

They think it worked because of the important role AOB play in regulating the skin by easing inflammation, healing wounds, and yes, reducing sweating. The fact that they lower the level of ammonia in the skin (by sucking up sweat, for example) could also improve the skin by helping to balance its pH level.

The scientists presented their findings at the ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes in Washington, DC this week. They now think that AOB could be a simple and cost-effective way to treat skin conditions like acne or diabetic ulcers, and want to conduct further research to find out if they’re right.

By Sérgio (Savaman) Savarese via Wikimedia Commons.

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Diane Shipley