Ever wondered what is on your face in terms of bacteria, microbes, etc.? Now you can find out.
There is a great project called American Gut that is ongoing and promises to identify the dominant microbes based on whatever sample you send them: stool, saliva, or skin. So while they admit their focus is on "gut flora" and intestinal microbes, there are definitely people giving skin samples as well. I am one of them!
I hope some of you will join me in this exciting opportunity to advance citizen science. The first phase resulted in over 3,500 participants, and I don't know if their metric is by users or money raised, but it is apparently the largest crowd-sourced science project in history! This is truly the beginning of an era where we know our bodies more intimately than ever before. Personalized medicine is right around the corner, don't you want to be on the cutting edge?
The more people that participate and send skin samples of their acne, the more we stand to learn. Personally, I'm curious to find out if my number of "demodex mites" is above average, as I've had rosacea-like symptoms for some time now. Imagine if you found bacteria on your face that prove you have folliculitis, not acne? The possibility to shed new light on why our skin is suffering is here. So let's help scientists and ourselves figure out what patterns, signatures, and biomarkers are present relating to acne so that we can better understand how to fix this frustrating problem!