Putting Good Bacteria in Lotion To Fight Off Dangerous Infections

Photo: Mood Board/REX/Shutterstock.
Will the wonders of science ever cease? The Associated Press reports that scientists have found that adding good bacteria into lotion can work with the body to create natural antibiotics, and are adding friendly bacteria in with lotions to help fight germs that cause disease. Soft skin and disease-resistance? That sounds like the ultimate win-win.
In a test of a cream created for patients with eczema, the lotion was able to effectively guard five patients against bacteria that was infecting their itchy skin. Dr. Richard Gallo, who is the dermatology chairman at the University of California, San Diego and leader of the research told the AP the cream is “boosting the body's overall immune defenses.”
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In his research, Gallo and his team looked at the bacteria present in healthy skin that can ward off a dangerous staph infection, and compared it to the bacteria present in patients who suffer from eczema, which compromises the skin’s health. It turns out that eczema patients have bacteria on their skin, but not the healthy type that helps fight off infections.
The AP reports that Gallo was able to determine which good bacteria was missing in eczema patients, and added it to custom-made lotion. Even better news: the natural antibiotic created by the good bacteria did not kill off other healthy bacteria, which pharmaceutical antibiotics tend to do.
Rubbing bacteria-laced lotion on skin that is already vulnerable because of eczema may sound risky, but Gallo told the AP there’s nothing to fear: “They're normal skin bacteria, so we knew they would be safe.”
Gallo’s research was published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine and is already hailed as significant by his peers. Dr. Emma Guttman-Yassky, who works with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital told the AP that the lotion research is “very important” and “[opens] a window for a potential new treatment.”
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