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Keywords:

  • stratum corneum;
  • tape stripping;
  • cohesion;
  • barrier integrity;
  • water loss

Background/purpose

The stratum corneum serves as a main barrier for the skin, minimizing water loss and regulating absorption of substances. Because of its surface location, it is readily available for analysis. Consequently, many techniques are amenable to investigating its content and function. Here, we review the methods employed to evaluate the stratum corneum and its function.

Methods

We reviewed Pubmed and Embase search results for ‘stratum corneum, ‘method,’ methods,’ ‘technique,’ and ‘evaluation’ and extracted pertinent articles that discussed ways to examine the stratum corneum and its constituents.

Results

Traditional and novel methods vary by accuracy, ease of use, time requirements, cost, invasiveness, and equipment requirements.

Conclusion

The methods reviewed all contribute to our current picture of the stratum corneum. Tape stripping continues to be the most widely used, but variations in the use of the corneocytes obtained further contribute to the diversity in evaluation methods.