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Bacteria on the Skin: New Insights on Our Invisible Companions

A University of Manchester study examines how skin-dwelling bacteria influence wound healing - findings could help address chronic wounds, a common ailment in the elderly.

We spend our lives covered head-to-toe in a thin veneer of bacteria. But despite a growing appreciation for the valuable roles our resident microbes play in the digestive tract, little is known about the bacteria that reside in and on our skin. A new study suggests the interplay between our cells and these skin-dwelling microbes could influence how wounds heal.

“This study gives us a much better understanding of the types of bacterial species that are found in skin wounds, how our cells might respond to the bacteria and how that interaction can affect healing,” said Matthew Hardman, a senior research fellow at The University of Manchester Healing Foundation Centre who led the project. “It’s our hope that these insights could help lead to better treatments to promote wound healing that are based on sound biology.”

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