How much skin does a human shed in their life? © iStock

How much skin does a human shed in their life?

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Whether you have flaky skin or skin as soft as a baby's bottom, you'll be surprised just how much you'll lose over your lifetime.

Asked by: Paul Leslie, by email


According to a 2011 study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, we shed between 0.03 and 0.09g of skin every hour. That sounds like almost nothing, but over the course of a lifetime it adds up to about 35kg, or roughly half your bodyweight. Most of this is in the form of tiny flakes, which make up a major constituent of house dust.

Interestingly, the same study found that the squalene oil on shed skin reacts with harmful ozone in houses, offices and aeroplanes, so dust can actually improve the air quality.


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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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