Research from Labs Around the World

Brief description?

Our Sour Skin Surface

Did you know that the surface of our skin is acidic? That we have a sour skin surface, like vinegar or lemon juice?  Scientists have long known that we are covered by an acid mantle. But how the epidermis - the outer layers of skin - achieves this feat, conferring a pH of 5.0 or less to our skin surface, when the cells of our body and the blood and fluids bathing those cells have a more neutral pH of ~7.4, has until recently been something of a mystery.   To our surprise, as we were … [Read more...]

HIghlights of the IID. Part 8: Sunscreens and Vitamin D

Dr. Antony Young of the University of King's College London described how sunscreens, even when used optimally to prevent sunburns, do not prevent the formation of vitamin D in the skin. The study he described in his lecture was remarkable for the stringency of its design.  He and his colleagues recruited lightly pigmented volunteers from Poland to enjoy a week's winter holiday on the sunny island of Tenerife. They divided the volunteers into three groups: one (the ‘control group) was advised … [Read more...]

Highlights of the IID. Part 5: The microbiome of normal skin and atopic dermatitis

The gut and its bacterial flora – its ‘microbiome’ – is receiving a lot of attention from scientists and their findings are being closely followed by the lay press.  The skin’s microbiome, too, has become a hot topic among dermatologic researchers, as evidenced by the number of papers and reports dealing with the subject at the 2013 International Investigative Dermatology meeting in Edinburgh.  Of these reports, several dealt with the microbiome in atopic dermatitis (or eczema).  This is of … [Read more...]

Highlights of the IID 2013. Part 2: Promising New Drug for Atopic Dermatitis

An important feature of the inflammation in atopic dermatitis (and in the other ‘atopic’ disorders, such as asthma) is the overproduction of ‘bad’ cytokines, such as interleukin 4 (IL-4), by a subgroup of Th2-type lymphocytes. After secretion from Th2 cells, IL-4 percolates up into the epidermis where it decreases the production of both lipids and proteins that are critical for normal barrier function (see our recent series of articles on atopic dermatitis for more information on the link … [Read more...]

Highlights from the 2013 International Investigative Dermatology (IID) Meeting in Edinburgh: Introduction

Every 4 years, the Eurorpean, North American and Japanese dermatologic research societies host a joint meeting. Last week the 2013 International Investigative Dermatology meeting took place in Edinburgh, Scotland. Over the next several days we will summarize some of the highlights of research on the skin barrier that was presented there, alternating posts of research from the Elias group with work coming from other laboratories around the world. … [Read more...]

Inflammation May Help Fix the Skin Barrier in Psoriasis (But Not in Atopic Dermatitis)

Both psoriasis and atopic dermatitis are considered multigenic disorders, meaning an inherited predisposition to develop one of these is carried on more than one gene. In addition to bad genetic luck, usually some environmental (or non-genetic) factor(s) is necessary to trigger the disease. In recent years, studies of populations have determined that variations (‘polymorphisms’) in genes that are involved in the skin barrier as well as genes of the immune system are linked to the development of … [Read more...]

Diet and the Skin Barrier

The notion that we can fix what ails us by eating right is a commonly held belief.  And it is also one that has considerable merit in some medical conditions.  A nutritional treatment for common skin disorders, like atopic dermatitis, would be very welcome to most who suffer from these conditions. … [Read more...]

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