Functional Characteristics of the Skin Surface of Children Approaching Puberty: Age and Seasonal Influences

N Akutsu, M Ooguri, T Onodera, Y Kobayashi, M Katsuyama, N Kunizawa, T Hirao, J Hosoi, Y Masuda, S Yoshida, M Takahashi, T Tsuchiya (+1 others)
2009 Acta Dermato-Venereologica  
The aim of this study was to determine differences in the functional properties of the stratum corneum of children and adults, focusing on the influence of approaching puberty. Biophysical measurements were made of the stratum corneum of 32 healthy Japanese children aged 10-14 years and their mothers in summer and the following winter. The children showed significantly lower skin surface hydration. Stratum corneum barrier function, evaluated in terms of trans-epidermal water loss, was poorer on
more » ... loss, was poorer on the forearm in the children than in the adults regardless of season. By contrast, the stratum corneum barrier of the cheek, which was better in the children, tended to become poorer when the children reached puberty. Although the immaturity of the cornified envelopes of the superficial corneocytes, which ratio increased significantly in winter, was not different from that of adults, the corneocytes were significantly smaller in the children, suggesting a more rapid turnover of the stratum corneum. The amount of skin surface lipid, which was measured only on the cheek, remained low until 13 years of age, but at 14 years of age it increased remarkably, approaching adult levels. We conclude that, until puberty, most functional characteristics of the skin of children remain distinct from those of adults.
doi:10.2340/00015555-0548 pmid:19197537 fatcat:ye3sxllhsfgtloomlq3kts4744