Epidermal-Dermal Junction: What’s Your Function?

What’s The Most Important Part of Your Skin?

It’s your epidermal-dermal junction, or the area where your dermis connects to your epidermis. This connection between the two levels of skin is vitally important due to the roles it plays in cellular communication, nutrient exchange and absorption and other skin functions.

Epidermal-Dermal Junction, what’s your function?

The first may be the most obvious: it attaches the epidermis to the dermis. It sounds like a basic job, yet it’s possibly the most important. The layers of the epidermis are continually moving upward, throwing their “contents” overboard, flattening, building up at the surface and then eventually sloughing off to make room for the cells right behind them. This natural movement or “keratinization” of the skin is an integral part of skin renewal and healing. It would not be possible without the epidermal-dermal Junction (EDJ) maintaining the relationship between the two main layers of skin, allowing for healthy communication from the top all the way to the bottom.

The EDJ is also responsible for the exchange of nutrients back and forth from the epidermis to the dermis. These nutrients are carried in the blood from the food we eat and absorbed through the pores from topical application. Vitamins, antioxidants, acids and other nutrients are needed for DNA repair, new cell production, protection from outside elements and oxidative stress and more. In youth, this junction is a healthy, wavy terrain. The finger-like waves in the junction, called rete ridges, form the interlocking connection between the dermis and epidermis. They increase the surface area of the epidermis that is exposed to these blood vessels and the needed nutrients. Without this nutrient exchange, skin would suffer premature aging and damage.

As we age or stress our skin, it tends to flatten out. If the junction completely flat lines, no pun intended, the communication and nutrient exchange comes to a halt. So, in order to maintain skin healthy – and youth – you want to keep the communication open and the EDJ’s rete waves as wavy as possible. This means proper diet and topical skin supplementation as well as limiting over exfoliation, over exposure to harsh elements and any other form of stress or trauma.

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