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A piece of jewelry for your ear or a breeding ground for bacteria?

A piece of jewelry for your ear or a breeding ground for bacteria?

Do you have earrings or are you planning to wear them? Then you should know that you not only have a piece of jewelry in your ear, but also a new living environment for your skin bacteria. This is clear from a study conducted by Canadian microbiologists.

Our skin hosts trillions of microorganisms that can have a significant impact on our health. Some bacteria protect us from pathogens, while others cause problems. The composition of that vast community of bacteria — also called the skin microbiome — can change due to conditions. And so are microbiologists Redpath Museum at McGill University Search the earring. “Earrings are a unique model for studying how skin bacteria change after a rapid change in their environment,” says lead author Vincent Fougere.

After all, when you wear an earring, you are making a hole in your skin and filling it with a metal object. This can have a significant impact on the environment of skin bacteria, so how do bacteria respond to this? Microbiologists’ research has shown that earrings not only provide more types of bacteria and more interactions between those bacteria. The ratio between two important bacterial species also changes, which may cause skin infections.

DNA samples
The researchers worked with a tattoo and piercing parlor in Montreal, Canada. They asked 28 adults who wanted to have their ears pierced to participate in the study. They took skin samples from the ear before piercing the piercing and after the piercer placed the earring in it. In the following weeks, participants took several samples around the earring and a patch of skin next to it. The researchers then looked at the DNA of the samples to see what bacteria were present on them.

More bacteria
It showed that there are different types of bacteria present at the site of the earring compared to the rest of the body. This may be because the earring provides a larger skin surface, changes in temperature and humidity in and around the wound, and a change in acidity. In addition, the earring comes into contact with the air and your hands, which can introduce more bacteria. The researchers also discovered that after a while two types of bacteria became dominant in the earring site: Staphylococcus epidermidis And Skin acne. These two types can cause skin infections, but they can also monitor each other. Only if one of them becomes too much can an infection develop.

Struggle or cooperate
“It is very interesting to see how these two important bacterial species responded to the earring,” says co-author Anthony Mathelier. The bacteria had more interactions with each other at the earring site than around it. This suggests that the earring allows skin bacteria to work together in a different way.

The extra bacteria doesn’t have to be harmful to your health. As long as they are balanced with each other and with other bacteria on your skin. That’s why it’s important to keep your throat clean and watch for any symptoms of infection, such as redness, swelling, pain, or pus. The researchers concluded that earrings not only have cultural meaning, but also have an environmental impact on human skin. Furthermore, they hope that the microbiome in the earring will help us understand how skin bacteria deal with changes in their environment.

Earrings are timeless
Although earrings may seem trendy, we have been piercing our ears for thousands of years. Researchers from Tel Aviv University Various pieces of jewelry were found in northern Israel in 2010. They found, among other things, a ring and earrings. The jewelry was wrapped in a cloth. The jewelry is at least 3,000 years old, and some of the jewelry may have come from Egypt.