Scaly or flaky skin is what we see when the process of discarding the outermost cells of our skin is no longer invisible – as it should be. The shedding process has gone from being normal, that is, orderly and invisible, to being disorderly or ‘pathological’, and highly visible. The process of discarding these spent cells or ‘squames’ from the outermost layer of skin, the stratum corneum, is called ‘desquamation’. Normal desquamation is accomplished cell by cell and is imperceptible to the naked eye. The normal shedding of skin cells is aided by friction during our daily activities and is further helped by bathing. [Read more…] about Scaly Skin and Ichthyosis (Nothing To Do with Fish Skin)
Skin Disorders: When the Barrier Fails
Wrinkles come with age – and for most of us they are unwelcome guests. Sunlight is a well-recognized cause of wrinkles. Slowly adding up over time. we pay the price of our past hours in the sun, as year by year our skin accumulates wrinkles. And just as nothing is fairly distributed in life, so, too, sun-induced wrinkles come sooner and with more intensity to some of us.
The unpleasant discovery of new wrinkles can begin quite early in life for those of us with lightly pigmented skin, and especially for those who are red-heads. The cautionary tales we hear about sun exposure and wrinkles are true, of course, as are the far more serious concerns about sun-induced skin cancers. But we should not equate sun-damaged or ‘photoaged’ skin – the aging that is produced by ultraviolet light – with chronologically or ‘intrinsically-aged’ skin – the aging that comes to all with the passage of time. Age itself does take its toll on skin, but it does so in a manner less obvious to the eye than the wrinkles that are formed by a life in the sun. [Read more…] about Aging Skin: Beyond Wrinkles
Psoriasis is quite a common skin disease. About 2% of people throughout the world will develop psoriasis at some point in their lives. Typically the spots (or ‘lesions’) of psoriasis are red and scaly. [Read more…] about Psoriasis – Another Disorder of the Skin Barrier?