Recent evolution of the human skin barrier

Erin A. Brettmann, Cristina de Guzman Strong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The skin is the first line of defense against the environment, with the epidermis as the outermost tissue providing much of the barrier function. Given its direct exposure to and encounters with the environment, the epidermis must evolve to provide an optimal barrier for the survival of an organism. Recent advances in genomics have identified a number of genes for the human skin barrier that have undergone evolutionary changes since humans diverged from chimpanzees. Here, we highlight a selection of key and innovative genetic findings for skin barrier evolution in our divergence from our primate ancestors and among modern human populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-866
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • epidermis
  • genetic selection
  • genomics
  • hominidae
  • skin


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