Skin is considered as the ideal site for non-invasive skin therapeutic platforms. In a recent study published in Scientific Reports, a library of gold nanorods (GNR) decorated with polyethylene glycol-thiol (PEG-SH) containing different functionalities were synthesized and characterized. The results demonstrated that cholesterol-PEG coated GNR were preferentially loaded up in the upper layers of skin (stratum corneum), while phospholipid-PEG coated counterparts were drastically deposited in skin dermis. Neutral methoxy-PEG-coated GNR were distributed in both SC and dermis skin layers, while charged GNR (anionic-carboxylic acid-PEG-GNR and cationic-amine-PEG-GNR) revealed a minimal accumulation into skin. DSPE-PEG-GNR and Chol-PEG-GNR demonstrated antibacterial activities against Staphylococcus aureus (S aureus) at MIC values of 0.011 nM and 0.75 nM, respectively. Photothermal treatment for S. aureus at sub-MIC concentrations resulted in a significant bactericidal effect when using Chol-PEG-GNR but not DSPE-PEG-GNR. Gold-based nanoscale systems have great value as a promising platform for skin diseases therapy. Scientific Reportsvolume 9, Article number: 5796 (2019).