The key difference between stratum basale and stratum corneum is that stratum basale is the deepest layer of the epidermis, while stratum corneum is the uppermost layer of the epidermis.
The skin comprises three layers: epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. Epidermis is the skin’s most superficial layer, and it protects from the invasion of substances into the human body. Moreover, the epidermis comprises several layers, including the stratum basale, stratum spinosum, stratum granulosum, stratum lucidum, and stratum corneum. The stratum basale is the deepest layer of the skin’s epidermis, while the stratum corneum is the uppermost layer of the skin’s epidermis.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Stratum Basale
3. What is Stratum Corneum
4. Similarities – Stratum Basale and Stratum Corneum
5. Stratum Basale vs Stratum Corneum in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Stratum Basale vs Stratum Corneum
What is Stratum Basale?
The stratum basale is the deepest layer of the epidermis of the skin. It is also known as stratum germinativum. The basement membrane, called the basal lamina, separates the stratum basale from the dermis. Moreover, hemidesmosomes attach stratum basale to the basement membrane. This epidermis layer contains mitotically active stem cells that are cuboidal to columnar in shape. These cuboidal to columnar cells are attached to each other and the overlying stratum spinosum layer cells by desmosomes and hemidesmosomes. The nucleus in these cells is large and ovoid. The nucleus occupies most of the cell space. Moreover, these cells constantly produce keratinocytes. Stratum basale also contains melanocytes.
There are two primary functions of the stratum basale. They are the proliferation and attachment of the epidermis to the dermis. Stratum basale also has clinical significance. This is because basal cell cancers (basal cell carcinomas) usually occur in this epidermis layer. Basal cell cancers account for around 80 % of all skin cancers.
What is Stratum Corneum?
The stratum corneum is the uppermost layer of the epidermis of the skin. It contains 20-30 cell layers. Furthermore, the stratum corneum is made up of keratin and horny scales. Horny scales are made up of dead keratinocytes called anucleate squamous cells. This layer varies typically in thickness. Moreover, this layer has dead keratinocytes, which secrete defensins. Defensins are a part of the first human immune defense system.
The stratum corneum performs various protective and other essential physiological functions. They are mechanical shear, impact resistance, hydration regulation, microbial proliferation, and invasion control and regulation. In addition, its functions also include starting inflammation through cytokine activation and dendritic cell activation and acting as a selective permeability layer to toxins, irritants, and allergens. Furthermore, numerous diseases are associated with problems in this layer, including hyperkeratosis. Hyperkeratosis is an increased thickness of the stratum corneum.
What are the Similarities Between Stratum Basale and Stratum Corneum?
- Stratum basale and stratum corneum are two layers of the epidermis.
- They contain keratinocytes.
- Both layers fulfill various functions.
- Most importantly, they are affected by different diseases.
What is the Difference Between Stratum Basale and Stratum Corneum?
The stratum basale is the deepest layer of the epidermis, while the stratum corneum is the uppermost layer of the epidermis. Thus, this is the key difference between stratum basale and stratum corneum. Furthermore, stratum basale has a single cell layer while stratum corneum has 20 to 30 cell layers. Moreover, stratum basale has melanocytes, while stratum corneum has dead keratinocytes that secrete defensins.
The infographic below presents the differences between stratum basale and stratum corneum in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Stratum Basale vs Stratum Corneum
The epidermis is the top layer of the human skin that protects the body from the external environment. It also keeps the skin hydrated, produces new skin cells, and determines the skin color. Epidermis has five layers: stratum basale, stratum spinosum, stratum granulosum, stratum lucidum, and stratum corneum. Stratum basale is the deepest single-cell layer, while stratum corneum is the uppermost layer containing 20 to 30 cell layers. So, this is the key difference between stratum basale and stratum corneum.