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June 1972

Current Views on Skin Metabolism: the Need for a Broader Outlook

Arch Dermatol. 1972;105(6):925-926. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620090089022

To the Editor.—  While preparing a review article1 we were impressed by the fact that nearly all of the voluminous information on skin metabolism relates to in vitro studies, a surprising circumstance in view of the ease with which specimens may be collected from live donors. A recent report by Decker2 reminded us of this point, and reinforced our conviction that preoccupation with in vitro data has led to misconceptions regarding the metabolism of skin and its relation to the body. This is all the more regrettable because skin displays most of the metabolic capabilities of other tissues, and should, therefore, serve as a convenient indicator for general metabolic studies in the intact animal. It is unfortunate that dermatologic investigators have not vigorously promoted this concept. On the contrary, the paucity of in vivo data has created a "tunnel vision" outlook on skin, to the extent that concepts

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