From Dalian China, comes some interesting research on the epidermis (the uppermost layer of the skin, where the pigment cells reside) in vitiligo. Dr Lui and colleagues (Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2010; 23: 193-200) noted that studies have demonstrated that alterations in skin biophysical properties in vitiligo have not yet been well defined. In their study, stratum corneum (SC) hydration, the skin surface acidity and epidermal permeability barrier function in vitiligo were evaluated.
They found that in addition to SC hydration, both melanin and erythema index were significantly lower in vitiligo skin than in nonlesional sites, while no difference in skin surface acidity between vitiligo-involved and uninvolved areas was observed. In addition, the SC integrity in the involved areas was similar to that in the uninvolved areas. However, barrier recovery in vitiligo-involved sites was significantly delayed in comparison with uninvolved sites.