Welcome Skin Professionals.

Here we provide all professionals who deal with the skin and its disorders with additional information and resources. We offer commentary on some of the latest research coming from our laboratories at the University of California San Francisco and from other leading laboratories around the world. We also offer a free, illustrated booklet, A Primer on the Skin Barrier. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

 

Research: From The Elias Lab

How is pigmented skin more acidic?

 How is Pigmented Skin More Acidic?   As we discussed in an earlier post, darkly pigmented skin is superior to lightly pigmented skin. It functions better in holding in body water. It does a better job of preventing skin infections. And it is better at resisting mechanical trauma.  We then discussed work from the Elias laboratory demonstrating that this superiority is due to the lower pH of the skin surface.  In other words, darkly pigmented skin is more acidic. Yet darkly pigmented … [Read More...]

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 from the 2013 IID. Part 7: Is Acne a Disorder of the Skin Barrier?

It has been known for decades that the formation of keratinous plugs in the outlet of the sebaceous follicles is the first step in the process of acne vulgaris.  These 'comedones', (called 'open comedones' (blackheads) if the opening of the pore is wide and the plug is visible; and 'closed comedones' (whiteheads) if it is tiny and the plug buried under the surface), precede the development of inflammatory lesions (what we call pimples). It has also been known for a long time that individuals who … [Read More...]

More From The Elias Lab

Research: From Labs Around the World

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...]

More Research From Around the World

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