Microbiome Care That Goes Beyond Cleaning

In the precious first few months, a baby’s skin is extremely delicate and needs special care. So it’s important that parents have all the relevant information about their baby’s skincare needs.

That’s why we have created a simple easy-to-print guide you can share with parents that answers some of their basic questions and misconceptions.

Discover the science behind the skin microbiome.

See how JOHNSON’s® is pioneering research to support and nurture healthy development of the skin microbiome.

J&J Baby Microbiome

Protecting the Microbiome

Skin is the largest organ that undergoes remarkable transformation at the time of birth. At birth the fetus is suddenly removed from a protected intra-uterine environment that is aquatic, warm, and nearly sterile, to the dry, cold external world laden with microbes1,2. To survive, the neonate must interact with many organisms, making use of some, while vigorously defending against the others like a nation conducting trade with friendly countries and guarding against hostile ones from invading it, waging wars if necessary3.

Within days after birth, rapid surface colonization of infant skin is observed1. Trillions of bacteria, fungi, viruses, archaea, and small arthropods colonize the skin surface, collectively comprising the skin microbiome4. Exposure to a biologically rich and diverse environment can help ensure the natural development of a healthy skin microbiome and may encourage general immune health of the infant1. Approx. 1 billion bacteria inhabit a typical square centimeter of skin—covering the surface and extending down into the appendages and glands. Healthy skin with a diverse skin microbiome is a rather inhospitable environment for microbial growth4.

Timely and proper establishment of healthy skin microbiome during this early period might have a pivotal role in denying access to potentially infectious microbes and could affect microbiome composition and stability extending into adulthood1. Early microbial colonization is therefore expected to critically affect the development of the skin immune function1.

Changes in microbial composition and function, in the skin have recently been linked to alterations in immune responses and to the development of skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis (AD).5

Disease flares of established atopic dermatitis (AD) are generally associated with a low-diversity skin microbiota and Staphylococcus aureus dominance6.

A healthy skin microbiome contributes to infection prevention by inhibiting growth of pathogens like staph aureus. A diverse microbiome leads to a healthy immunomodulation and arrests the atopic march3. A healthy skin microbiome is passport to good health for a lifetime.


1. Capone KA, Dowd SE, Stamatas GN, et al. Diversity of the human skin microbiome early in life. J Invest Dermatol. 2011;131(10):2026-32.
2. Grice EA, Segre JA. The skin microbiome. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2011;9(4):244-53.
3. Yu JC, Khodadadi H, Malik A, et al. Innate Immunity of Neonates and Infants. Front Immunol. 2018;9:1759.
4. Kong HH, Segre JA. Skin microbiome: looking back to move forward. J Invest Dermatol. 2012;132(3 Pt 2):933-9
5. Lee SY, Lee E, Park YM, et al. Microbiome in the Gut-Skin Axis in Atopic Dermatitis. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2018;10(4):354-362.
6. Kennedy EA, Connolly J, Hourihane JO, et al. Skin microbiome before development of atopic dermatitis: Early colonization with commensal staphylococci at 2 months is associated with a lower risk of atopic dermatitis at 1 year. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017;139(1):166-172.


1. Capone KA, Dowd SE, Stamatas GN, et al. Diversity of the human skin microbiome early in life. J Invest Dermatol. 2011;131(10):2026-32.
2. Grice EA, Segre JA. The skin microbiome. Nat Rev Microbiol. 2011;9(4):244-53.
3. Egert M, Simmering R, Riedel CU. The association of the skin microbiota with healthy, immunity and disease. Clin PharmacolTher 2017; 102:62-69
4. Oranges T, Dini V, Romanelli M. Skin Physiology of the Neonate and Infant: Clinical Implications. Adv Wound Care (New Rochelle). 2015;4(10):587-595.
5. Data on File, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (Capone KA, Tierney N, Smith H, Tian S, Horowitz P. Longitudinal development of the skin microbiome during the neonatal period. AAD 2017)
6. Data on File, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc (Global Claims Database).


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