effect of hibiscrub used for showering

Q&ACategory: Questionseffect of hibiscrub used for showering
Anonymous asked 4 years ago
I was really interested to read the article on your work in the Times magazine. As a couple we did not have a problem with BO until we used hibiscrub for showering. This is supposed to kill all sorts of bacteria including MRSA. We then both developed a different and unpleasant smell, not armpits but all over. presumably the balance of bacteria on our skin was altered in a bad way. This lasted for months. Then we got a dog and the smell went almost instantly. Maybe the dog carried bacteria which reintroduced a good balance to our skin flora?
1 Answers
drarmpit answered 3 years ago
Wonderful story – thanks for sharing! Hiciscrub is very antibacterial; it is very effective in the short run, but is often counter-effective in the long run. Bacteria will always grow back on the skin, and the ones coming back after antibacterial treatments are usually not the best ones. So it is better to maintain a healthy skin microbiome in order to prevent MRSA than killing it altogether. It’s an excellent example how malodorous bacteria can pop up after such treatment. It is also an excellent example that a dog can influence the microbiome. We have seen that having a pet in the house leads to a significantly higher bacterial diversity on the skin. The dog indeed re-introduced non-odorous bacteria on the skin, leading to a better balanced and less odorous skin microbiome. Please continue petting your furry friend – it’s good for you! Best, Chris