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Wiley, British Journal of Dermatology, 2(171), p. 274-282

DOI: 10.1111/bjd.12860

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Geographical ancestry is a key determinant of epidermal morphology and dermal composition

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This paper is available in a repository.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Geographical ancestry plays a key role in determining the susceptibility of human skin to external insults and dermatological disease. Despite this, studies of skin from individuals of diverse geographical ancestry focus primarily on epidermal pigmentation. Few reports characterize the gross morphology and composition of the dermis and dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ). OBJECTIVES: To characterize epidermal morphology and dermal composition in skin from individuals of diverse geographical ancestry. METHODS: Immunohistochemical techniques were used to assess epidermal morphology and protein composition of the DEJ and dermal extracellular matrix in photoprotected skin from young African, Eurasian and Far East Asian individuals (n = 7 per group; age 18-30 years). RESULTS: The epidermis of African skin was thicker, with deeper rete ridges and a more convoluted DEJ than Eurasian and Far East Asian skin. Compared with Eurasians, protein composition of the DEJ was collagen VII poor in African and Far East Asian skin (P