Study results suggest that closely studying skin's dynamic behavior, including its changing characteristics over time, could yield significant clinical benefits for both dermatologists and surgeons.
A review in Experimental Dermatology suggests more closely studying skin’s dynamic behavior, including its changing characteristics over time, could yield significant clinical benefits for both dermatologists and surgeons.
“The skin is often viewed as a static barrier that protects the body from the outside world,” the review authors note. “Emphasis on studying the skin’s architecture and biomechanics in the context of restoring skin movement and function is often ignored. Our views of skin structure tends to be static, two dimensional and focus largely on biological functions. Often overlooked is the dynamism of skin, which involves multidirectional stretch and compression, allowing for low friction gliding movement. Only when skin is diseased, scarred or aged do we appreciate how important this feature is to daily activity.” The review highlights in particular how injury, disease or aging results in a dramatic changes to the microarchitecture and physical characteristics of skin.
The review makes a number of fascinating points regarding how a greater understanding of skin could lead to advancements, including:
The review also looks at comparatively wider studied gender differences in skin and age, but reveals that much more can be learned, especially how aging effects the mechanical integrity of the retaining structures which visibly degenerate over time. A better understanding of pathology differences, also well-studied but still not well-understood, could lead to advances in treating conditions such as atopic dermatitis and many others.
“The appreciation of the architectural continuum of skin provides us with many concepts that helps us better understand how aging, disease and injury effect the skin health and cosmesis,” the study authors conclude. “By studying the physical and temporal dynamism of skin we can further appreciate, simulate or engineer more realistic skin.”