What are Probiotics? 

What are Probiotics? 

These days, probiotics are rapidly used in the medical and skin care industry due to their safety profile. 

Your skin and your gut have their own microbiome, a colony of good microorganisms. These diverse groups of microorganisms keep your skin in good shape, just like some balanced gut microorganisms keep your gut healthy and in working condition. The best topical probiotics are equipped with good bacteria that cannot harm your skin but are beneficial for it.  

You should also know about the prebiotics, prebiotics act as a fertilizer or food to the microbiome and promote the growth of both good and bad microorganisms. Together with probiotics and prebiotics act together to make your skin healthy.  

Probiotics remove the bad bacteria, balances the pH, preserve the hydration, give strength to the skin barrier, stimulates skin repair, and can enhance the skin’s defense mechanism. 

How do probiotics work?  

The exact mechanism of probiotics is still mysterious but some studies say that probiotics work in two ways 

 1. They initiate anti-inflammatory effects by the stimulation of immune cells called as T-cells and by the release of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10  

 2. They compete for harmful pathogens for nutrients and then displace them 

 Here are some of the examples:

Probiotic strains such as Streptococcus, Lactobacillus, and Bifidobacterium can inhibit biofilm formation and can reduce systemic inflammatory cytokines.  

Another stain Lactobacilli can kill harmful skin pathogens including E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and pathobionts (resident microbes with pathogenic potential), such as Cutibacterium (formerly Propionibacterium) acnes.  

Probiotics can restore desired microorganisms in acne and can help to restore acne lesions without systemic side effects.  

What do new studies say about Probiotics? 

Recently, a small open-label study constituting 10 adults and 5 pediatric patients having atopic dermatitis is treated with topical probiotics (Roseomonas mucosa lysate obtained from healthy volunteers) and led to the greater than 50 percent improvement in atopic dermatitis. 

R. mucosa is believed to improve Atopic Dermatitis symptoms by restoring epithelial barrier function and innate/adaptive immune balance as well as via inhibition of S. aureus growth. 

Are Probiotics FDA approved?  

Currently, the FDA has placed the probiotics into different product categories such as cosmetics, dietary supplements, medical devices, or drugs according to the case but does not have a separate regulation.

Up till now, no probiotic has been approved as a drug by the FDA. Topical probiotics come under the product category of cosmetics because they are used to treat skin pathologies and they don’t need FDA approval for marketing. 

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