Biofilms: How They Affect Your Scalp Condition and How to Get Rid of Them

You’ve tried everything to get rid of your scalp condition, including prescription topical steroids, anti-fungal ointments, anti-microbial shampoos, laser therapy, and in severe cases, surgery, but for many of you, nothing really seems to work. Did you ever wonder why?

There is a good chance that biofilms could be the culprit.

According to an estimate by the National Institute of Health (NIH, USA), approximately 80% of all chronic human bacterial infections are associated with biofilms,1 which can make bacteria and/or fungi up to 1,000 times more resistant to antibiotics, antimicrobial agents and disinfectants. These same biofilms also prevent or reduce your immune system’s ability to access and kill these bacteria.

What are Biofilms?

In scientific terms, biofilms are three-dimensional networks of bacteria and/or fungi that are encased in an extracellular polymeric substance, an encapsulating glue-like substance that contains one or all of polysaccharides, proteins and/or nucleic acids. Additionally, once bacteria have formed biofilms, they can undergo changes in metabolism as well as gene expression and growth to further reduce antibiotic susceptibility because the organisms are metabolically inactive, making them even more difficult to kill.

In layman’s terms?

Certain bacteria and fungi have the ability to produce biofilms, a sticky substance that functions as a glue-like anchor and matrix for colonizing surfaces, and also serves as a protective dome under which bacteria and fungi can rapidly multiply.

This protective dome allows bacteria and fungi to grow upwards and outwards, producing huge masses of microorganisms. Other microorganisms that come into contact with this sticky matrix also become encased in this growing film, producing a complex structure consisting of multiple bacteria and fungi species.

This glue-like matrix and the changes in the metabolism of the associated bacteria/fungi make biofilms extremely difficult to eliminate, as the encased microorganisms become tolerant/resistant to most treatments. Biofilms promote antibiotic tolerance and resistance by physically shielding bacteria and fungi, while also allowing them to reduce their own metabolism protecting them from these active ingredients. As such, biofilms are recognized by many scientists as one of the leading causes of antibiotic resistance worldwide.

How do Biofilms Form on Skin?

Bacteria and fungi are naturally found on human skin, along with carbon sources and metal ions (iron, calcium, and magnesium). Certain bacterial/fungal species, including those that try to populate your scalp, use these carbon sources and metal ions as their food supply, producing biofilms that rapidly multiply to become complex, three-dimensional, multi-layered fortresses.

Bacteria multiply rapidly and become difficult to eliminate when encapsulated in a biofilm

Conventional treatments for scalp conditions batter these biofilms but generally cannot break through, and the biofilm matrix continues to grow stronger. A better solution would be to get to the source of the issue – the biofilm matrix and their food source.

DermaKB™ products are formulated with coactiv+™ technology that includes a patent-pending combination of compounds that tightly bind to and remove the metal ions that are critical for bacterial growth, bacterial membrane stability, and biofilm formation.

coactiv+™ compounds tightly bind to and remove the metal ions that are critical for bacterial growth

By breaking down biofilms and removing organisms from the surface of the skin, the antimicrobial/antibiofilm ingredients in DermaKB™ products help to support the reduction of skin irritation and other symptoms associated with common scalp conditions.

Could coactiv+™ technology work for you?

1 NIH research on microbial biofilms: