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Reflections: All Bugs Aren’t Bad

Contact Author Katie Anderson

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I was at the grocery store the other day, and amid all the other items on my list was disinfectant spray. You know the one; it hasn’t been on the grocery store shelves in months. I like to spray it on my various linens on occasion when I change them and to freshen them up, but I haven’t been able to find any. In a wildly optimistic move, I went to see if they had any—nothing. In a similar vein, other virus reducing items such as hands soaps, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes and disinfectant surface sprays have been in short supply since the pandemic hit. You, of course, know this, because you’ve had to stock up on these items for safety in the spa.

These items are necessary to properly disinfect surfaces and hands in an effort to reduce transmission of COVID-19 (in addition to other illnesses), but research on the microbiome makes me wonder what the implication will be of this massive bug eradication? In killing off the bad bugs, are we killing off the good bugs too? What will this mean for our immune system, digestive system and skin health?

So, we thought there was no better time for us to talk about probiotics. Since we need to kill of the bad bugs, we sure better figure out how to promote the proliferation of the good ones. In this issue on Page 24, Erin Madigan-Fleck details the importance of various bacteria in the microbiome. She discusses which bacteria are temporary, which are always there and how the microbiome keeps the skin healthy and the immune system fully functional.

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To further that discussion, Danné Montague-King reviews all the popular microbiome-related terms you may hear on Page 46. He separates these terms by good bugs versus bad bugs, and he contends that only skin deficit in these microbes should use probiotic treatments.

If you are looking to bring in some products that promote healthy bacteria on the skin, turn to Page 23 for a sampling of products with that affect in mind.

We have to continue to implement sanitation and disinfection protocols in order to keep ourselves and our clients healthy during this pandemic, but it can’t hurt to simultaneously help promote good bacteria on the skin. After all, all bugs aren’t bad.

Yours in Bacteria,

Katie Anderson

Katie Anderson

Editor in Chief