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November 1972

Does Cellophane Tape Stripping Remove the Horny Layer?

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 1972;106(5):767-768. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620140101035

To the Editor.—  Removal of the stratum corneum by cellophane tape stripping is an extremely simple maneuver. Its usefulness in experimental dermatology can scarcely be exaggerated. What is so simple, however, is prone to oversimplification. For a time it was speculated that the great spurt in mitosis a couple of days poststripping pointed to a feedback mechanism whereby the presence of the horny layer held proliferative activity in check. However, ultrastructural study has revealed that this seemingly innocent procedure induces rather severe epidermal damage.1 It is the latter stimulus which excites increased cell replication.After enjoying the benefits of the procedure for many years, we finally got around to asking a very simple question: does stripping to the glistening layer really remove all the horny layer? With vigorous stripping 30 to 40 times, the surface becomes so wet that no more cells will stick to the tape. The faithful

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