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Desquamation (1).jpg

A peeling skin.
ICD-10 R23.4

Desquamation is the shedding of the outer layers of the skin. The word comes from the Latin 'desquamare' , meaning "to scrape the scales off a fish".

For example, once the rash of measles fades, there is desquamation. Also seen in Toxic Shock Syndrome in the eye, the epithelial basement membrane (lens capsule) completely encloses the lens, therefore desquamation of aging cells is impossible, and due to the complete absence of blood vessels or transport of metabolites in this area, there is no subsequent remodelling of these fibres, nor removal of degraded lens fibres.

Nonpathologic desquamation occurs when corneocytes, after move apically over about 14 days, are individually shed invisibly.[1]:279 In pathologic desquamation, the stratum corneum becomes thicker (hyperkeratosis), imparting a "dry" or scaly appearance to the skin, and instead of detaching as single cells, corneocytes are shed in clusters, forming visible scales.[1]:279

See also

  • For technical terms, when desquamation refers to a process affecting materials (metals, concrete, rock boulder, etc, ...), see also:


  1. ^ a b Jackson SM, Williams ML, Feingold KR, Elias PM (March 1993). "Pathobiology of the stratum corneum". West. J. Med. 158 (3): 279–85. PMID 8460510.  


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