Nov. 23rd, 2009

ftmichael: - at Old Sturbridge Village, 03 July 2008.  Copyright 2008-2009. (Default)
[personal profile] ftmichael
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8373690.stm

Dirt can be good for children, say scientists

Children should be allowed to get dirty, according to scientists who have found being too clean can impair the skin's ability to heal.

Normal bacteria living on the skin trigger a pathway that helps prevent inflammation when we get hurt, the US team discovered.

Girl with mucky hands
Messy play should be encouraged, according to the hygiene hypothesis

The bugs dampen down overactive immune responses that can cause cuts and grazes to swell, they say.

Their work is published in the online edition of Nature Medicine.

Experts said the findings provided an explanation for the "hygiene hypothesis", which holds that exposure to germs during early childhood primes the body against allergies.

Many believe our obsession with cleanliness is to blame for the recent boom in allergies in developed countries.
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