Nature Outlook |


Skin is the body’s largest organ and first line of defence against disease and injury. Researchers have been working to unlock skin’s secrets so as to help heal, treat and mimic this essential barrier.

This Nature Outlook is editorially independent. It is produced with third party financial support. About this content.

This Nature Outlook is editorially independent, produced with financial support from a third party. About this content.

Features and comment

As a multifaceted organ, skin provides the body with protection from infection and the environment, as well as sensory capabilities.

Outlook | | Nature

The skin is the body’s largest organ and has several, diverse functions. As well as being a physical barrier, it has immune and sensory properties.

Outlook | | Nature

Each person’s skin carries a unique population of microbes that might help to protect skin from infection, or increase its vulnerability.

Outlook | | Nature

The innovation process in pharmaceutical research is continuously evolving. In the past, companies used to work in a closed model where new ideas and knowledge came mainly within house. This model is no longer sustainable and the pharmaceutical industry is increasingly opening up the innovation model.

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Eating well could be better for skin health than applying lotions and potions. But which vitamins and nutrients will yield the healthiest glow?

Outlook | | Nature

Skin-like electronics that stretch and sense will create a way to monitor vital signals and build prosthetics with a sense of touch.

Outlook | | Nature

More from Nature Research

Our skin is home to millions of bacteria, fungi and viruses that comprise the skin microbiota. In this Review, Byrd and colleagues discuss recent insights into skin microbial communities, including their composition in health and disease, dynamics between species and interactions with the immune system.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Microbiology

In this Review, Gilbert and Stephens outline the history of the field of microbiology of the built environment and discuss insights into microbial ecology, adaptation and evolution. They consider the implications of this research, specifically, how it is changing the types of materials we use in buildings and how our built environments affect human health.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Microbiology

The relationship between atopic dermatitis and air pollution has been long debated but has now been connected via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor and its control of skin innervation and the consequent triggering of an itch-scratch response.

News & Views | | Nature Immunology

There are suspected links between air pollution and atopic dermatitis, but the mechanism has remained unclear. Yamamoto and colleagues demonstrate that air pollutants trigger activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in the skin, hyperinnervation and an itch-scratch cycle that leads to atopic dermatitis.

Article | | Nature Immunology

Patients with junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB) carry mutations in genes that encode components of the basement membrane, which ensures the integrity between the epidermis and the dermis, such as laminin-332. These mutations cause blistering of the skin and chronic wounds. Following initial treatment of an adult patient with a limited affected region, Michele De Luca and colleagues reconstruct the full epidermis of a 7-year-old patient with autologous transgenic cells transduced with a virus vector carrying the non-mutated form of laminin-322. The integration sites of the virus used for gene delivery provide a tracing tool ex vivo and in vivo and demonstrate that the human epidermis is sustained by a limited number of long-lived stem cells.

Article | | Nature