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Dermatol Clin. 2003 Oct;21(4):595-600.

Structure and function of ethnic skin and hair.

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Department of Dermatology, Howard University College of Medicine, 2041 Georgia Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20060, USA.


Differences have been found among blacks, whites, Asians, and Hispanics in various areas of skin structure and function. Among them is the stratum corneum lipid (ceramide) content, which is highest in Asians, then Hispanics, then whites, and lowest in blacks. Melanosomal packaging and percutaneous absorption rates for specific compounds also vary among the different races. Reports supporting the occurrence of difference in TEWL, tyrosinase levels, skin elasticity, and water absorption rates between blacks and whites, and reaction to skin irritation have been conflicting. No significant differences in corneocyte size, skin thickness, and skin biomechanics have been reported.

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