Your Body Is a Wonderland of Bacteria

Where can you find your skin’s most diverse community of bacteria? If you said in the sweaty armpit or linty bellybutton, you’re wrong. According to a new survey, the diversity hot spot of the body’s exterior is the forearm, with the back of the ear being the most bacteria barren areas of the body. Most areas of the body have an average of 15 bacteria species, while the forearm has 44. That’s because exposed forearms make a good landing pad for bacteria. Unlike washing our hands, we rarely lather up our forearms. Researchers say the data from the study could contribute to explaining why certain skin diseases appear at certain sites of the body and not others. The next step is to investigate the relationship between microbial ecosystems and diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.