Pathology of Aging Skin

  • Qunshan Jia
  • J. Frank Nash
Living reference work entry


Human skin is a dynamic complex organ functioning as both a physical and biochemical barrier to protect the human body from water loss and environmental insults while providing multiple life-sustaining physiological functions. Skin undergoes a chronological aging process accompanied by physical changes, clinical manifestations, and psychological consequences. At the level of epidermis, defects in stratum corneum integrity and subsequent barrier dysfunction following external insults are observed in aged humans. An increase in pH in the stratum corneum of aging skin may decrease the concentration of lipids leading to defects in stratum corneum homeostasis and epidermal barrier function. At the level of upper dermis, fragmentation and reduction in collagen and elastin as well as a collapse in fibroblast morphology underline the majority of the undesired dermal clinical manifestations including the loss of dermal mechanical tension resulting in skin laxity and fine wrinkles. Both intracellular factors including attack by reactive oxygen species, DNA telomere shortening, and damage to DNA repair enzymes and intercellular microenvironmental factors including breakdown of the extracellular matrix and microinflammation are considered important in the process of skin aging.


Stratum Corneum Telomere Length Dermal Fibroblast Elastic Fiber Skin Blood Flow 
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 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Procter & Gamble CompanyCentral Product SafetyCincinnatiUSA

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