'Washing as much as we do might not be a good idea,' says Dr Adam Roberts, a senior lecturer in molecular microbiology at University College London. 'We need bacteria as much as they need us.' The average human body contains 37 trillion bacteria cells — around 370 billion of them living directly on the skin — alongside just 30 trillion human cells. It is now thought that excessive washing affects that balance, and many scientists believe maintaining as natural an ecosystem as possible is a defence against skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Opera star Lesley Garrett has been told never to wear high heels again after she was diagnosed with the arthritic big toe condition hallux limitus.
Alex Keel, from Cheltenham, has been told that she is unlikely to be offered a fourth liver transplant if another fails again. But without one she will die.
'I want to watch my kids grow up so badly': Mother-of-two's desperate search for a bone marrow match after acute leukaemia left her needing a life-saving transplant
Tania Murphy, a mother-of-two from Port Elliot, South Australia, is searching for a bone marrow match after leukaemia left her needing a life-saving transplant. The young woman, who is the mother to Taylah, seven and Kalan, four, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in July, 2016 and is struggling to find a donor due to her mixed heritage. Ethnicity is one of the major factors in bone marrow donor matching. I am so powerless. 'I want people to know that going to their nearest blood bank and registering on the bone marrow registry could save my life,' she said.
Christie Brinkley showed off her toned thighs at an awards ceremony recently. The 62-year-old mother of three from Michigan has exercised all her life. She swears by indoor cycling and yoga, and is into cycling, paddleboarding, surfing, skiing and swimming. To replicate her toned thighs, we recommend the low lunge workout. To do this, stand with feet hip-width apart before stepping your right foot back and lowering into a lunge with your left knee over your ankle.
'I know the kind of unreal pain you feel': Inspirational mother of stillborn baby pens emotional open letter to other grieving parents
Since Nene Fulcher (pictured left, right and inset), from Adelaide, had a stillborn son two years ago (left), she has dedicated her life to helping other grieving mums. As well as travelling miles to be beside another mother in her hour of need, Ms Fulcher recently wrote an emotional open letter to 'grieving parents' on Facebook recently, giving them advise, and telling them not to be too hard on themselves.
Tragic end for the boy born with his head upside-down: Indian teenager whose story moved the world dies just eight months after life-changing surgery
A 13-year-old boy in India whose head was hanging at a 180-degree angle has died just eight months after life-changing surgery. Mahendra Ahirwar (pictured, left) suffered from a rare condition called congenital myopathy. After the operation he was able to go to school (right) and enjoyed a relatively normal life. His mother, Sumitra, said today: ‘I will miss him. I’ve no idea how I’ll cope with the loss. He’s with God now. I hope he is able to find peace. He’s had a painful life. I hope wherever he is, he is pain free.’ She said: 'He enjoyed his new life for just eight months. I wish he could have lived longer to see more.'
UK first for woman, 29, who will undergo a pioneering stem cell transplant to save her life after two failed liver donations
Alex Keel (left), 29, from Cheltenham, suffers from a deadly liver condition which can often be cured through a transplant. But two donor organs have proved unsuccessful (right after her first operation in 2012) and doctors have said it is unlikely she will be offered a fourth if her next one fails. Her condition has worsened so much that experts are already planning to move her to the top of the list for a transplant because without one she will die. Liver specialists are planning a procedure to protect her new organ when she gets it - which will make her the first patient in the UK to undergo such treatment.
'Could you pray for me?' Seven-year-old cancer patient records a moving plea asking for people to keep her in their thoughts ahead of vital scan
Ava Bright Lee from Chicago is being treated in hospital for Leukemia Cutis. Last week she had an important scan that would determine whether or not doctors would proceed with treatment. When Ava, pictured left, center and right with her family, found out about the scan she asked people from around the world to pray for her. In response to her video, viewed 150,000 times, she received more than 6,000 messages of support.
'I felt twitches... it was like magic': Quadriplegic who sailed solo round the UK reveals she has regained feeling in her limbs after having a pain-relief implant
A disabled yachtswoman who became the first female quadriplegic to sail solo around the UK has told how she has miraculously regained movement in her limbs. Hilary Lister, who was paralysed from the neck down when she finished the 1,800-mile journey in 2009, opened up about her recovery after she was filmed playing with her dog and feeding herself a biscuit. Footage shows the 44-year-old, who was struck down with a rare degenerative disorder in her teens, picking up a pen and raising a leg while laid down. Ms Lister, from Faversham, Kent, said she kept her progress a secret from family, friends and full-time carers because she feared it may be temporary.
'I'm not going to cry!' Heartwarming moment a colour-blind father is surprised by the gender reveal of his unborn child thanks to a special pair of glasses
The heart-warming clip, filmed in Marco de Canavetes in Portugal, shows a father-to-be (top left) being presented with a pair of Enchroma glasses by his pregnant wife. The man uses them to read a series of message cards (top right) prepared by the mother-to-be, the last of which instructs him to look at her T-shirt. He sweeps her into a bear hug (bottom left) as the glasses allow him to make out the words 'It's a girl' printed in a pink circle on her t-shirt (bottom right).
Michael Bublé's eldest son Noah, three, has been diagnosed with cancer. The singer, 41, and his model wife Luisana Lopilato, 29, said in a statement: 'We are devastated by the recent diagnosis of cancer of our oldest son Noah, who is currently receiving treatment in the United States. 'We’ve always talked a lot about the importance of family and the love we have for our children.'
'I don't want to leave it too late': Grandmother of four who became a mum again at 51 reveals she's trying for ANOTHER baby with the help of the egg donor who gave her a daughter
A woman who became a mum again at the age of 51, thanks to the help of a stranger who donated her eggs, has revealed she wants to have another baby. Grandmother of four Kim Castles, from Melbourne, (left) told Woman's Day that she hopes to give baby Nellie (inset) - who was conceived with the help of egg donor Jade Morgan, 22, (right) a sibling.
The woman who owes her smile to SELFIES: 27-year-old whose face was left paralysed used pictures to teach her to move her mouth again
Anna Robinson (right), 27, from Nottingham, was terrified when she woke up earlier this year to discover she could no longer move her face. She assumed she had suffered a stroke - but she had actually been struck down by Bell's palsy, which causes facial muscles to freeze up. Doctors told her she may never regain movement in her face and that just one in 14 people actually recover. But determined to get back to her old self, she snapped a series of selfies to teach herself how to smile again. And just two months after her diagnosis, she managed to crack her first grin (left) since suffering from the condition.
Girl, 5, who suffers from 4 heart defects which could kill her if she gets upset appeals for Christmas cards to keep her alive
Isabell Tipper (right), five, from Walsall, suffers from four life-threatening heart defects that mean if she gets sad her heart becomes starved of oxygen. The range of issues can cause her blood pressure to drop to dangerous levels and lead to organ failure if her emotions run too high. Despite undergoing open-heart surgery when she was just six months old (inset), it proved unsuccessful and she nearly died last year when she became upset. Her mother Kimberley, 27, (left) appealed for strangers to send Isabell birthday cards in May to keep her alive. After receiving over 2,000 messages from well-wishers, they have appealed once more to strangers to send her poorly daughter Christmas cards.
Bricklayer almost died and needed open-heart surgery after his TOOTHACHE was the source of a deadly infection
Daniel Murtagh (left), 29, from Harrogate, suffered months of weight loss, exhaustion and body aches. But blood tests found he had endocarditis which had eaten away at a valve in his heart. Medics discovered the infection had come from bacteria on a mildly-inflamed wisdom tooth that was causing him slight pain. Doctors immediately pulled it out before performing a seven-hour operation (right and inset) on his heart to give him a prosthetic valve. But Mr Murtagh, from Harrogate, was told that if he had left his condition another week he would probably have died.
Boy, 4, who will never be able to crawl, stand or walk, suffers from a disorder so rare that doctors have named it 'Milo's condition' after him
Milo Browne (pictured left with mother Laura Davidson), from North Shields, needs constant care from his parents and is unable to sit without being fully supported. He will never have the ability to crawl, stand or walk and he is fed via a tube into his bowel as his stomach is too sensitive to eat normally. But medics have labelled him as a sufferer of 'Milo's Condition' because they have never seen anything like it before. Following several years of fundraising, the family have spent £19,000 on transforming their home with new gadgets to help Milo take a break from the multiple hospital visits he has to endure. Ms Davidson (pictured right a year ago), 32, said: 'It's been absolutely life-changing because there are a lot of days when he's not well and we don't manage to get out.'
Low-carb diets favoured by Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna and Jennifer Aniston really DO work: Scientists discover they 'may prevent diabetes'
Now scientists have discovered low-carbohydrate meals also have a health benefit - they could prevent diabetes. The study by experts at Michigan University discovered three low-carbohydrate meals within 24 hours lowered insulin resistance by over 30 per cent. The phenomenon of low carbohydrate diets - minimising intake of bread, rice or pasta - has been fuelled by stars including Gwyneth Paltrow (left), Jennifer Aniston (middle) and Madonna (right).
Mother left with a drooping face after suffering from sudden paralysis relearns how to SMILE after life-changing surgery
Megan Dennis (left with husband Will, 41), 38, from Orlando, was left with just 17 per cent function on the left side of her face after developing Bell's palsy three years ago. The condition meant she was left unable to grin (right) - despite once being voted as having the 'best smile' as a teenager. It also meant she couldn't shut one of her eye lids, affected her ability to pronounce certain letters and caused her social anxiety. Despite trying a range of treatments and suggested techniques, she had almost given up hope after none proved successful. But after stumbling across a life-changing operation (inset) a year ago, she has now relearned how to smile.
The baby hiding in his mother’s womb: Woman who lost her child to an ectopic pregnancy is delighted after giving birth to a SECRET baby
Sadie Brittle (left), 32, from Tamworth, only discovered she was carrying another child almost three months after she collapsed at work with a potentially deadly ruptured fallopian tube. Teddie (right), who was born via Caeserean section last Thursday, was hidden by the heavy internal bleeding she suffered following her ectopic pregnancy. He was only picked up by doctors after the hairdresser carried out a pregnancy test (inset her doctors scan) because her stomach was still swollen while she was on holiday following the surgery to remove her ectopic pregnancy.
The Christmas drinks that contain as many calories as a SANDWICH: Every festive coffee ranked from healthiest to unhealthiest
Femail Food&Drink; has dissected every festive menu at these three coffee titans to find out which drinks you can enjoy guilt-free if you're watching your waistline - and the ones you should definitely avoid. From left to right: Caffe Nero's new Tiramisu Hot Chocolate tops the unhealthiest list, closely followed by Starbucks' new Fudge Hot Chocolate. Costa's Mint Hot Chocolate also fares badly, but its Salted Caramel Cappuccino is the 'healthiest' on the list. Caffe Nero's Tiramisu Latte also fares well, while Starbucks' Toffee Nut Latte is the most calorific coffee on menus this year.
'It felt like something was gnawing at me': Man describes seeing flesh-eating parasite ravaging his own skin
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. A man has described seeing a flesh-eating parasite ravaging his own skin. Mark Ward, a retired firefighter from Prescott, Arizona, was in Belize with his wife Janina when he started to notice small pin-sized spots all over his body. Assuming them to be bug bites, he ignored them. But within days he was exhausted, losing weight rapidly, and the dots had transformed into huge lesions, bursting open. He had been infected by a flesh-eating parasite which was reproducing in his body and eating his cells. The infection - called cutaneous leishmaniasis - can be fatal if left untreated. However, bewildered doctors in Belize then in Arizona took more than a week to realize that Mark had more than a contact skin infection.
'No child has to suffer this pain': Father shares a heartbreaking photo of his four-year-old daughter's brave cancer battle as she's given just weeks to live
Andy Whelan (left with Jessica), an electrician from Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, shared the black-and-white image of Jessica (right) on his Facebook blog about her illness, where it's had more than 7,600 reactions. Posting the photo on Jessica Whelan - A fight against Neuroblastoma, Andy wrote: 'This is the hardest photograph I have ever made. A few days ago she was given what is most likely a few weeks to live. This was taken at a moment where we as parents could offer no comfort - Jessica pushing us away as she rode out her searing pain in solitude.'
The baby girl who wouldn't give up: Tiny premmie born weighing just 600 grams endures meningitis, NINE lung collapses and a bleeding brain... but Lillian beats the odds to survive
A mother has shared her heartache after her baby was born at 24 weeks weighing a tiny 625 grams. Lisa Connor-Melville, 24, from Queensland, (pictured left) was put on bed rest when her waters broke unexpectedly on 23 August. She was rushed to hospital where doctors discovered she was suffering from massive internal bleeding - forcing them to deliver her little girl Lillian (right and inset) early.
Cancer survivor, 54, becomes the first person in the world to get a 3D printed face created using a SMARTPHONE
Dr Rodrigo Salazar from Paulista University in Sao Paulo, Brazil, performed the procedure on Carlito Conceiçao, after a tumour ravaged a hole in his cheek. The hand-finished silicon prosthesis has transformed his life by restoring his self-esteem. Pictured inset are the first two stages of the procedure, and pictured main is the final result.