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Structure and function of skin 

Structure and function of skin
Structure and function of skin

John A. McGrath



Expanded discussion of (1) keratinocyte stem cells and the signals that influence them; (2) filaggrin mutations that are a risk factor for systemic allergies; (3) pathophysiology of toxic epidermal necrolysis.

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date: 27 September 2021

Skin provides a mechanical barrier against the external environment, but has further roles in thermoregulation, metabolism, and the regulation of fluid balance, as well as being socially important in contributing to physical and chemical attraction between individuals.

There are more than 1000 different skin diseases, although relatively few are commonly encountered in general medical practice. However, several skin conditions can reflect a general medical problem such as a systemic infection, or a cutaneous manifestation of internal disease (e.g. patients with underlying malignancy, endocrine disorders or chronic inflammatory diseases). An understanding of skin structure and function is also important in dealing with the common clinical scenario of ‘skin failure’ resulting from adverse drug reactions, burns, or extensive trauma....

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