Changing Our Microbiome: Probiotics in Dermatology

Y. Yu; S. Dunaway; J. Champer; J. Kim; A. Alikhan


The British Journal of Dermatology. 2020;182(1):39-46. 

In This Article


In summary, the microbiome plays an important role in dermatology and serves as a potential target for treatment. Probiotics to promote a healthy microbiome may positively contribute by reducing inflammation, creating an optimal balance of immune activation, and preventing colonization by pathogenic bacteria. While rapid increases in the medical use of probiotics have confirmed their excellent safety profile, long-term safety data are limited. Of concern, reports also link probiotics to infections and other severe side-effects in immunocompromised individuals.[99] Thus, more basic research and epidemiological studies are needed to characterize further the microbiome as a risk factor and in the treatment of disease.[100] Clinical trials of oral and topical probiotics with larger samples and greater power are necessary to characterize the safety, as well as the particular species combinations, doses and treatment durations that are most effective. Future probiotic trials utilizing combination therapy with either phage or initial antibiotic treatment could yield interesting results to support a microbiome replacement strategy.