Comparison of stratum corneum thickness in children and adults

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1983 May;8(5):652-4. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(83)70074-5.


We compared the thickness of the stratum corneum from abdominal skin in infants less than 3 months of age, children between 3 months and 11 years, and adults. Measurements were made with a filar micrometer eyepiece on histologic sections obtained at autopsy. No significant differences were seen; therefore, a stratum corneum of different thickness cannot be used to explain differences in percutaneous absorption, supporting previous work which suggested that term infants and children have an efficient skin barrier. The greater toxicity from percutaneous absorption of topical compounds sometimes seen in children is more likely due to their increased surface to volume ratio and/or metabolic differences.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin / cytology*