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It only takes a ten-minute swim in the ocean to get your skin covered in a coat of sea-dwelling bacteria, research has found.
A team went to a California beach and recruited a set of beach goers, who only swam in the ocean infrequently and weren't using sunscreen.
Swabs - Participants - Skin - Ocean - Bacteria
After taking swabs from participants' skin before and after swimming, they found a common ocean bacteria called Vibrio, typically found in salt water.
While Vibrio isn't necessarily bad, some strains are 'disease-causing' and raise the risk of infection by disrupting your skin's delicate microbiome.
Microbiome - Germs - Team - Swimming
The microbiome protects us against germs and the team observed that they changed and became more similar to one another after swimming.
The findings show that that ocean water exposure can alter the diversity and composition of the human skin microbiome.
Researchers - University - California - Irvine - Study
The researchers, from the University of California, Irvine, noted the study is a work in progress but could help explain a pattern of how people who swim in the ocean are more likely to get sick with stomach aches and ear infections than those who stay on the sand.
Though the bulk of infections from the sea are caused by faeces, which get into our bodies, the team suspects that ocean bacteria as a whole can make illness more likely through their effects on the skin microbiome.
Beach - People - Ocean - Moment
On the beach, they only used people who only swam in the ocean infrequently and who weren't using sunscreen at that moment.
Before swimming, the nine volunteers who were recruited had a skin swab taken from the back of...
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