Effect of Solar Radiation on Skin Microbiome: Study of Two Populations

Nurit Harel, Leah Reshef, Dvora Biran, Sarah Brenner, Eliora Z. Ron*, Uri Gophna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Here, we examined the skin microbiome of two groups of healthy volunteers living on the Mediterranean coast with different exposures to sun radiation. One group, exposed to the sun in the summer, was compared with a group covered with clothing throughout the year. The seasonal effects on the skin microbiome of three body sites were determined before and after summer. Surprisingly, at the phyla level, there were no significant differences in microbiome diversity between the groups. Furthermore, within each group, there were no significant seasonal differences in high-abundance species at any of the sampling sites. These results suggest that the skin microbiome, developed over years, remains stable even after several months of exposure to summer weather, direct sunlight and humidity. However, in the group exposed to the sun during the summer months, there were significant differences in low-abundance species in sun-exposed areas of the skin (the inner and outer arm). These subtle changes in low-abundance species are interesting, and their effect on skin physiology should be studied further.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1523
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • human microbiome
  • skin microbiome
  • sun radiation


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