The I.A.C. offer the distance learning program "Understanding Corneotherapy" that can be used as both a introduction to further studies about Corneotherapy or as a step toward meeting the criteria for association membership.
The course consists of 10 modules, and is completed on-line. The objective of the course is to provide a comprehensive, but concise perspective of the skin; the anatomy, histology, morphology and physiology that will give you a new respect for the largest organ of the body, and why Corneotherapy is the most respectful and progressive methodology of care.
Each module consists of course notes, a presentation and a short assessment.
Upon completion of the course you will receive a Certificate of Completion from the International Association for Applied Corneotherapy.
Modules in this course:
• What is Corneotherapy?
• The internal cell structure
• Stem cells and skin development
• What is keratin and why is it important?
• Cells & systems of the epidermis
• Cells & systems of the dermis
• Keratinocyte lifecycle
• Cell to cell communication
• The eco-system of the acid mantle
• Skin microbiome and Corneotherapy
Synopsis of these 10 modules can be found below the enrolment form.
Total presentation time: 3hrs 40 min. Typical completion time: 2 days.
This course fee is €100 EUR. You will be directed to payment once you have completed and sent the registration form below.
Upon completion of this course, the €100 course fee can be transferred to a credit for your first years membership for IAC.
1. What is corneotherapy?
The care of the Stratum Corneum, and topical therapies with products that mimic skin structure and function.
An innovated and progressive methodology of thinking with core principles of the correction and restoration of the stratum corneum and barrier defense systems, while keeping the epidermis intact at all times. A methodology of thinking and skin treatment therapy that preserves the integrity of the epidermis at all times. This is achieved by using preventative interventions that are primarily directed to correction and restoration of the stratum corneum and barrier defense systems.
This approach leads to homeostasis and the improved function of the entire integument; protecting against harmful substances and microorganisms, while keeping the epidermis intact at all times.
2. The Internal cell structure
Understanding how a cell works will help you understand why things can go wrong and create the skin conditions we see every day in clinic or skin care practice.
This module will give you a new respect for the cells of the skin and how they are complex, marvellous structures. The Objective of this course is for the learner to become familiar with each organelle within a cell, and to understand each organelle's function and the role they play in the creation of proteins and lipids. This will be the basis of understanding what may go wrong with cellular function and ultimately reflect as a skin condition.
3. Stem cells & skin development
This module explores the formation of skin; specifically, from the origins of stem cells. To understand the world of stem cells,the different types, and importantly the role they play in the formation of skin is a fascinating and informative journey to an intimate knowledge of the skin. .
The objective of this module is to provide an understanding of the different groups of stem cells. Specifically, the stem cell resource of the keratinocyte and the development of the epidermis from the embryological stage through to birth. This includes expanding your knowledge of the evolution of the first lines of skin barrier defense involving the acid mantle, microbiome and the innate and adaptive immune systems. During this module we will discuss:
- About the skin's capacity to renew and repair itself
- All about stem cells and the different types
- Development of the microbiome and barrier defense systems
- The importance of environmental bacteria
4. What is Keratin?
Keratins are an essential fibrous structural protein that are important structural components of hair, nails and skin.
Keratins belong to a larger group of proteins known as intermediate filaments (IF). There are more than 50 members in the intermediate filaments gene family that are expressed in tissue and epidermal differentiation-specific events. Intermediate filament proteins support the organization of cells and tissues and serve as the cytoskeletal support within the cell to stabilize it against physical stress.
As part of the family of intermediate filament proteins (IF), keratins are found in un-mineralized tissues in both humans and animals. They supply the cell with internal and external strength and help fortify and stiffen the intercellular junction and laminates them so that they forma hardened protective layer. In the human epidermal skin layers, they are involved in the transitional process of cell cornification ending in the stratum corneum.
5. Cells & systems of the epidermis
The skin’s principal role is the formation of the skin barrier defense systems, all of these functions and defense systems are interdependent on each other. When one system is down or damaged there is a domino or knock on effect to other cells and systems of the skin barrier defense. Skin has an ability to reflect changes in other cells and systems of the body, and this is often referred to as a "Site of Response".
Understanding and appreciating this synergy between the cells and systems of the epidermis, and body is a big part of the Corneotherapy.
Life is a balance between processes that lead to properly organized form and function in the various tissues of the body, and factors that initiate disease and death. This balance can be seen at the level of single cells and their internal components. To understand skin structure it's important to revise all cells that contribute to the structure of the epidermis and dermis.
6. Cells & systems of the dermis
We learnt that the skin’s principal role is the formation of the skin barrier defense systems, and that all of these functions and defense systems are interdependent on each other.
When one system is down or damaged there is a domino or knock on effect to other cells and systems of the skin barrier defense. The epidermis forms an interface between the interior of the body and the environment. And it fulfils a fundamental function of protection through some well-established physical, biochemical and biological systems.
The dermis comprises of seven important layers, and all are created by the fibroblast cell. Each layer is listed from top of the dermis through to the bottom and in this unit of learning we will cover the layers in order of one to seven.
7. Keratinocyte life cycle
We learnt that the skin’s principal role is the formation of the skin barrier defense systems, and that all of these functions and defense systems are interdependent on each other. The epidermis forms an interface between the interior of the body and the environment. And it fulfils a fundamental function of protection through some well-established physical, biochemical and biological systems.
A most important principal of corneotherapy is the one of understanding the primary cell of the epidermis; the keratinocyte and the cycle of differentiation that creates skin barrier defense. Including the importance of maintaining cell viability and homeostasis. In earlier units of learning we touched briefly on the epidermal and dermal cells, we will now concentrate on the keratinocyte as the leading epidermal cell and follow the cycle of differentiation from mitosis through to desquamation.
8. Cell to cell communication
Skin forms an interface between the interior of the body and the environment. Although barely thicker than a sheet of paper, the epidermis is a formidable barrier, which provides the first line of defense against major environmental stresses such as water loss, UV exposure, and infection. In other words you die without it.
These insights also have significant potential in the Corneotherapy communication field, where the regenerative potential of enhancing or inhibiting cell to cell communication is now a consideration during the development of topically applied skin care formulations and treatment modalities.
9. The eco system of the Acid Mantle
The acid mantle is sometimes referred to as the hydrolipidic film (which means a film of oil and water), is a w/o emulsion that covers the skin surface.
It is a complex fluid entirely formed by substances excreted from the sudiferous and sebaceous glands, epidermic lipids and NMF and is an end result of the skin’s own metabolism.
The advantages of an intact acid mantle:
- The micro flora help maintain the low pH of skin.
- The micro flora inhibits the growth of more harmful bacteria.
- They also consume the limited amount of nutrients available on the skins surface making it
- hard for other bacteria to establish themselves.
- Helps prevent toxic matter from being absorbed into the skin, in addition to helping buffer the action of acid and alkaline chemicals.
- Acts as the skins primary lubricant.
- Controls the water movement through the epidermis. (TEWL)
Just reading through this list should illustrate to you the fact that an impaired acid mantle will have far reaching effects throughout the whole of the epidermis.
10. The skin microbiome & Corneotherapy
The critical first line of skin barrier defence is the acid mantle, and a biological community or ecological community known as the Skin Microbiome describes the interacting organisms living together in a habitat (biotope)on the skin surface.
We know that the primary role of the skin is to serve as a physical barrier, protecting our bodies from potential assault by foreign organisms or toxic substances, but little understood is that the skin is also an interface with the outside environment and, as such, is colonized by a diverse collection of microorganisms — including bacteria, fungi and viruses — as well as mites. The human microbiome is composed of those microbes that live in our bodies, and on the skin. The microbes or microorganisms that are resident on our skin are the skin microbiome, the microbes that live in the gut are call gut microbiome. The human microbiome is a source of genetic diversity, a modifier of disease, an essential component of immunity, and a functional entity that influences metabolism and modulates drug interactions. By understanding the importance of the Microbiome; particularly that of the skin, we can more readily appreciate that treatments and practices that continually deplete it can have consequences that lead to skin protection mechanism failures. We also can also appreciate how a corneotherapeutic approach helps maintain the homeostasis that protects the microbiome and overall skin health.