Biomechanics of the Barrier Function of Human Stratum Corneum

  • Kemal Levi
  • Reinhold H. Dauskardt


In this chapter, we review new approaches to characterize and model the fundamental biomechanics of human stratum corneum (SC) and skin damage processes. We describe how the drying stresses that develop in SC provide a mechanical driving force for dry skin damage such as chapping and cracking. We review techniques to quantitatively characterize these stresses after environmental conditioning and application of moisturizing and damaging treatments. We discuss the critical effect of water content on the mechanical properties of SC, and demonstrate the relationship between the SC drying stress and water in the drying environment. Finally, using our biomechanical model, we demonstrate how damaging treatments enhance and moisturizing treatments alleviate the propensity for dry skin damage.


Stratum Corneum Stratum Corneum Lipid Topical Coating Substrate Curvature Intercellular Lipid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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