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An overview of keratinocyte and melanocyte function is provided. The processes of cutaneous ageing and photoageing are defined, and age-associated modulations in gene expression are described. The changes in keratinocytes and melanocytes that occur with skin ageing and photoageing and the characteristics of chronologically aged vs. photoaged skin are delineated. Mutations that are found in malignant and premalignant tumors of epidermal origin are described.