Stratum Corneum

The stratum corneum (Latin for 'horned layer') is the outermost layer of the epidermis, consisting of dead cells (corneocytes) that lack nuclei and organelles.

The purpose of the stratum corneum is to form a barrier to protect underlying tissue from infection, dehydration, chemicals and mechanical stress. Desquamation, the process of cell shedding from the surface of the stratum corneum, balances proliferating keratinocytes that form in the stratum basale. These cells migrate through the epidermis towards the surface in a journey that takes approximately fourteen days.

Read more about Stratum Corneum:  Function, Skin Disease, Additional Images

Other articles related to "stratum corneum":

Techniques - Transdermal Pathways
... and the cytoplasm of the dead keratinocytes that constitute the stratum corneum ... times to traverse the full thickness of the stratum corneum ... Although the thickness of the stratum corneum is only about 20 µm, the actual diffusional path of most molecules crossing the skin is on the order of 400 µm ...
Corneocyte - Structure
... and embedded within a highly hydrophobic lipid matrix to form the stratum corneum ... Corneocytes in the lower part of the stratum corneum are bridged together through specialized junctions (corneodesmosomes) ... expand and connect together, forming potential entry pores for microorganisms across the stratum corneum ...

Famous quotes containing the word stratum:

    Once it chanced that I stood in the very abutment of a rainbow’s arch, which filled the lower stratum of the atmosphere, tinging the grass and leaves around, and dazzling me as if I looked through colored crystal. It was a lake of rainbow light, in which, for a short while, I lived like a dolphin. If it had lasted longer it might have tinged my employments and my life.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)