Corneotherapy is a remedial skin treatment methodology with its core principle being the repair and maintenance of the skin barrier defence systems. As the name suggests, Corneotherapy is closely related to Corneobiology, which is the physiological, biologic and biochemical processes of the stratum corneum; the outermost layer of the epidermis.
A key principle of Corneotherapy is to keep the epidermis intact at all times, with the therapeutic actions working from the outer layers of the epidermis inward. This approach of retaining the integrity of the epidermis ensures the skins defence and immune systems are not stimulated unnecessarily.
It is now widely understood that the outer layer of corneocytes of the stratum corneum is a biologically active cellular tissue. Dermatologist Dr Albert Kligman and his partners discovered that the stratum corneum, and the lipid barrier that keeps it intact, play a significant role in skin health; it can send many signals to the underlying living epidermis and influences the regenerative processes in deeper layers of the skin.
This understanding of skin health, along with appropriate interventions and topical treatments is an ensemble of therapies that Dr Kligman labelled “Corneotherapy”.
With this knowledge, Corneotherapy centric therapeutic interventions have shown that optimally functioning barrier defences, including a healthy innate immune system can prevent or reduce structural inflammation that is the precursor to many anomalous skin conditions such as EFAD, Xerosis, Itchyosis, and Eczema.
These preventative interventions are primarily directed to correction and restoration of the stratum corneum and barrier defence systems that have been rendered defective or impaired by disease, or intrinsic and extrinsic factors.
The correct application of Corneotherapeutic principles have been shown to restore homeostasis and an improved function of the entire integument; protecting against harmful substances and microorganisms that can trigger these anomalous conditions.
The principles of Corneotherapy can also be applied not just the correction of skin conditions, but for the supportive prevention of skin problems; the prevention of premature skin aging is an inherent outcome of this approach.
Corneotherapy is also an individualized approach to skin care and treatment, following a logical path that investigates and defines the causes of the conditions before selecting appropriate interventions and therapeutic applications in a sequence that achieves the best outcome. This contrasts with the more simplistic approach of treating symptoms without determining the causes.
One of the major advantages of Corneotherapy is that it is largely free of side effects in comparison with a treatment with topical pharmaceuticals. Preventively applied Corneotherapy practices may extend the intervals between flare-ups and reduce or even avoid the application of conventional dermatics such as steroid or cortisone-based creams.
It is these two characteristics; (1) taking time to thoroughly investigate the causes of the conditions and (2) not just treating the symptoms with repeated application of products with pharmacological action; that perhaps define Corneotherapy from more conventional approaches.