By protecting various portions of the skin surface, the morphology of the shedding process has been discerned. Normal desquamation is neither in the form of subcellular particles nor as a microscopic dust of individual cells. The stratum corneum cracks up in its outermost portion into aggregates of cells to be finally shed as fine scales and flakes.
Goldschmidt H, Kligman AM. Desquamation of the Human Horny Layer. Arch Dermatol. 1967;95(6):583-586. doi:10.1001/archderm.1967.01600360029004