Biofilms are diverse communities of microorganisms (e.g. bacteria, fungi and yeasts) that embed themselves within a self-produced matrix and in doing so firmly attached themselves to one another and/or to surfaces. These surfaces may be biological (e.g. skin, wounds, teeth, or other body membranes), or not (e.g. implements, medical devices, furniture, or jewellery). The biofilm promotes the growth of the microorganisms, resulting in the thickening of the biofilm. In extreme cases, biofilms may appear as a “slime” to the naked eye.
Biofilms may harbour disease-causing organisms. According to one estimate, up to 80% of all microbial infections involve biofilm formation (1). If an infection develops a biofilm, it becomes even harder to treat. Biofilms are remarkably difficult to treat with antimicrobials, but the reasons for this are not clear. Antimicrobials may be inactivated or may fail to penetrate into the biofilm. In addition, bacteria within biofilms have increased (up to 1000-fold higher) resistance to antimicrobial compounds, and to the body’s defences (1, 2). Due to their embeddedness and resistance, biofilms often prove difficult to remove.
It has been suggested that skin biofilms may explain the chronic nature of many dermatological conditions, including atopic dermatitis, poor wound healing, acne, Candida infections, impetigo and boils (3).
There are a number of approaches to reduce the impact of biofilms and help the skin return to its normal healthy state. Speak to our pharmacists to learn more about this fascinating area of skincare.
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With all the smoke in the air make sure you eat your Greens!
Did you know there are chemical compounds in cruciferous vegetables that appears to protect the lungs from carcinogens found in smoke? Indole-3-Carbinol and sulphoraphane are fascinating molecules that seems to have many other benefits too. Talk to a BCP pharmacist if you would like to know more.
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