A team of researchers from the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) has succeeded in accurately describing the molecular structure of the outermost layer of skin. This breakthrough paves the way not only for drug delivery via the skin, but also for a deeper understanding of skin diseases.
The outermost layer of our skin, the stratum corneum, acts as a watertight barrier that shields us from the external environment and protects us. It consists of layers of corneal cells, interspersed with lipids (fats), basically ceramides and cholesterol molecules. This recent research will enable scientists to find out which substances can breach this barrier and so be used to administer antibiotics, insulin or other drugs via the skin.