Study Title:

Epidermal surface lipids.

Study Abstract

A layer of lipids, which are of both sebaceous and keratinocyte origin, covers the surface of the skin. The apparent composition of surface lipids varies depending on the selected method of sampling. Lipids produced by the epidermal cells are an insignificant fraction of the total extractable surface lipid on areas rich in sebaceous glands. Due to the holocrine activity of the sebaceous gland, its product of secretion (sebum) is eventually released to the surface of the skin and coats the fur as well. Lipids of epidermal origin fill the spaces between the cells, like mortar or cement. The sebaceous lipids are primarily non polar lipids as triglycerides, wax esters and squalene, while epidermal lipids are a mixture of ceramides, free fatty acids and cholesterol. The composition of the sebaceous lipids is unique and intriguing and elevated sebum excretion is a major factor involved in the pathophysiology of acne. Recent studies have elucidated the roles that epidermal surface lipids have on normal skin functions and acne.

ceramide; desaturase; fatty acid; lipid; sebaceous; skin; squalene; wax
PMID: 20224687 PMCID: PMC2835894

Study Information

Dermatoendocrinol. 2009 Mar;1(2):72-6.

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