Human Microbiome: Composition and Role in Inflammatory Skin Diseases

Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2019 Feb;67(1):1-18. doi: 10.1007/s00005-018-0528-4. Epub 2018 Oct 9.


This review focuses on recent evidences about human microbiome composition and functions, exploring the potential implication of its impairment in some diffuse and invalidating inflammatory skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, hidradenitis suppurativa and acne. We analysed current scientific literature, focusing on the current evidences about gut and skin microbiome composition and the complex dialogue between microbes and the host. Finally, we examined the consequences of this dialogue for health and skin diseases. This review highlights how human microbes interact with different anatomic niches modifying the state of immune activation, skin barrier status, microbe-host and microbe-microbe interactions. It also shows as most of the factors affecting gut and skin microorganisms' activity have demonstrated to be effective also in modulating chronic inflammatory skin diseases. More and more evidences demonstrate that human microbiome plays a key role in human health and diseases. It is to be expected that these new insights will translate into diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive measures in the context of personalized/precision medicine.

Keywords: Bacteria; Inflammatory skin diseases; Microbiome; Skin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy
  • Acne Vulgaris / immunology
  • Acne Vulgaris / microbiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteria* / classification
  • Bacteria* / drug effects
  • Bacteria* / immunology
  • Bacteria* / pathogenicity
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / microbiology*
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dysbiosis
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome* / drug effects
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / drug therapy
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / immunology
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa / microbiology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Middle Aged
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis / immunology
  • Psoriasis / microbiology*
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / immunology
  • Skin / microbiology*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Dermatologic Agents