PO Box 29133
Dallas, TX 75229 (214) 797-0345
Provider Number CEP16550
is a CE provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.

The Stratum Corneum:
Critical first line of infection defense

This activity has been approved for 1.2 contact hours.
Contact Hours for this presentation expire June 27, 2017.

Personal Information
Date Completed:
RN    Other   
Email address:
Preferred Phone:
MONTH & DAY of your birthday (MM/DD):
The purpose of this education activity is to enhance the knowledge and practice level of the Registered Nurse infection preventionist in the area of the role of the stratum corneum in preventing infection.
1. The primarily function of the skin of every organism is to serve as a Source of nutrition
Protection against harmful UV light rays
Permeability barrier
Source of hydration
2. The first physician to recognize the essential functions of the skin was Dr. Joseph Von Plenk is the 1600s
Sir Thomas Chevalier in the early 1800s
Dr. Walter Lupus in the late 1800s
Dr. Peter M. Elias in the early 20th century
3. In the description of the stratum corneum as a ‘bricks and mortar’ configuration, what structure is represented by the bricks? Corneocytes
Water-repellent lipds
4. Which of the following is NOT one of the three families of lipids in the extracellular lipid bilayers of the stratum corneum? Cholesterol
Long-chain free fatty acid
Short-chain free fatty acid
5. The most important function of the lipids in the stratum corneum is to Keep the skin soft and supple
Provide nutrition and hydration for the skin
Protect the body against UV radiation
Allow the skin to maintain its critical permeability barrier
6. What is the approximate pH of healthy skin? 4.0
7. What does it mean when two functions are co-regulated? One can’t exist without the other
Both functions require identical environments
Impairment or improvement of one function will have a similar effect upon the other
One function has to be disabled in order for the other to work properly.
8. What structures in the stratrum corneum comprise a key element in protecting against both water loss and microbial invasion? Nuclei
Lamellar bilayers
9. What role does the resident flora play in preventing infection? Resident flora compete with invading microorganisms for key nutrients
Resident flora fills the holes in the stratum corneum preventing the entry of invading microorganisms
Resident flora create an environment that is toxic to invading microorganisms
Resident flora raise the pH of the skin making it an unwelcome environment for invading microorganisms
10. The earliest signs of skin compromise related to age begin about age 50
11. How long does it take the newborn to develop the normal acidic mantle pH of 5.0 6 weeks
3 months
6 months
1 year
12. What inherited abnormalities can impact the barrier and antimicrobial functions of the skin? Diabetes Melitus
Juvenile diabetes
Atopic Dermatitis
Latex allergy
13. What is the function of the vernix that covers the newborn? Hydrate the stratum corneum
Provide nutrition for the skin for the newborn’s first six hours
Protect the skin from the amniotic fluid
A source of nutrition in utero
14. What nursing intervention prevents degradation of the barrier protection of the stratum corneum? Frequent bathing with soap and water
Choosing topical agents that maintain the optimal pH of the skin
Using moisturizers to prevent dry skin
Less frequent bathing to avoid removing the skin’s essential lipids
15. What patients are at highest risk for increased skin pH? Critical care patients
Post surgical patients
Patients with chronic illnesses
Patients at both ends of the age spectrum
All items in RED must be answered. If you do not get a confirmation, your evaluation DID NOT submit!


  1. Outline the critical functions of healthy stratum corneum.
  2. Explain how a damaged stratum corneum relates to dehydration, inflammation and microbial invasion.
  3. Discuss ways in which clinicians can help maintain the stratum corneum.
To what extent were the presentation objectives met? Excellent    Completely    Somewhat    Not at all   
How effective were the teaching/learning resources? Excellent    Completely    Somewhat    Not at all   
To what extent is the activity information applicable to your practice? Excellent    Completely    Somewhat    Not at all   
How long IN MINUTES did it take to complete the entire activity, including the online evaluation and post-test?
Please share your comments