Normal Peeling of the Skin
Human skin has two main layers – an outer epidermis and inner dermis. The epidermis is made up of several layers of cells with the innermost known as the stratum basale and the outermost being the stratum corneum. The skin cells in the stratum basale gradually transform from living cells producing keratin (keratinocytes) to dead cornified cells (corneocytes) in the stratum corneum. These corneocytes provide the physical barrier that protects the internal environment of the body from the exterior.
The outermost layers of the skin are constantly shedding cells – a process known as desquamation. Humans shed outer skin cells throughout life and this is not usually noticeable in most cases as the new cells are constantly replacing the cells that are being shed. This is kept in balance to ensure that the outer stratum corneum is neither depleted during daily desquamation and nor does it become thicker than normal with a build up of cells.