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Article
March 1950

SODIUM AND POTASSIUM CONTENT OF HUMAN EPIDERMIS

Author Affiliations

BALTIMORE; NEW YORK

From the Department of Dermatology and the Department of Bacteriology, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1950;61(3):397-400. doi:10.1001/archderm.1950.01530100041004
Abstract

KNOWLEDGE of the basic chemical composition of epidermal tissue is fundamental to an understanding of many of the problems of dermatology. Preliminary observations of the chemical composition of human epidermis have been made possible by the introduction of a method for the clean, complete separation of epidermis and dermis1 and the development of the flame photometer for measuring small quantities of sodium and potassium in biologic solutions.2

The flame photometer utilizing an internal lithium standard was constructed by one of us (C. L. F.) in accordance with the design of Berry, Chappell and Barnes.3 This instrument has been found, after extensive testing,4 to give accurate and reproducible readings and represents a considerable improvement over the original direct-reading photometer designed by Barnes and associates2 and tested by Hald.5

METHODS AND MATERIAL

The material used in this investigation was human skin obtained from amputated parts, with radical mastectomies constituting the main source.

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