The desquamation, or exfoliation, process of the stratum corneum is actually very complex and only parts of this process are fully understood. We do know that several enzymes degrade the corneodesmosomes in a specific pattern, but we don't know the exact nature of these enzymes or how they become activated to start the exfoliation process. We do know that water and pH play a significant role in the activity of these enzymes.
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