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Acta Derm Venereol. 1991;71(2):146-8.

Racial differences in corneocytes. A comparison between black, white and oriental skin.

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  • 1Centre de Recherche Fondamentale de l'Oréal, Aulnay-sous-Bois, France.


It is well known that spontaneous desquamation and corneocyte size can reflect respectively stratum corneum cohesiveness and epidermal cell proliferation. The influence of skin pigmentation on these parameters has been investigated on the upper-outer arm of black, white and oriental volunteers, using the detergent scrub method. We found no difference between race in corneocyte surface area, a mean size of 900 microns 2 agreeing closely with that generally encountered in Whites on the upper-outer arm. By contrast, spontaneous desquamation is increased in black vis-à-vis white and oriental skin (factor 2.5, p less than 0.001). Taking into account the importance of the intercellular cement for the cohesion between corneocytes, racial differences in epidermal lipid composition should be investigated.

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