The role of the stratum corneum and the concept of total barrier care
KEYWORDS: Corneocare; total barrier; stratum corneum; desquamation; hydration; moisturization
ABSTRACT: The stratum corneum is a protective and yet dynamic barrier that allows humans to live in a constantly changing terrestrial environment. Although the permeability barrier is vital, the barrier in this context relates also to the chemical, immunological, radiation, free radical and mechanical barriers. When the barrier is compromised as it is in dry skin the consequence is that the seven signs of dry skin are experienced: the visual and tactile stimuli of dull-looking skin that lacks radiance and luminosity together with increased scaling and roughness. Moreover itching, burning, stinging is also experienced and the skin feels tight and generally “hurts” especially on the face. Itching may be more of a body problem than a face problem. Without water, the delicate structure of the SC is compromised and its functions are impaired. Water maintains its flexibility and allows enzyme reactions that facilitate SC maturation, together with corneodesmolysis and ultimately desquamation. All moisturisers alleviate dry skin to some e ... ... ...