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IP International Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicological Sciences

Postmortem changes in skin appendages-A histological study

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Research Article

Author Details : Boban Babu, Vina Vaswani, Kishor Kumar.B, Rani Nallathamby*

Volume : 4, Issue : 4, Year : 2019

Article Page : 130-136

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Introduction: The importance of estimating time since death was discussed through centuries, even in the most unsophisticated social setups in different parts of the world. Hair, nails, sweat and sebaceous glands are known as the appendages of the skin .They are of epithelial origin and along with the skin, forms the integumentary system. The study aims at looking into the histological changes that occurs during the decomposition process as an attempt to calculate the time since death.
Objectives: To observe various histological changes in skin and its appendages. To study time relation between these histological changes and postmortem interval.
Materials and 
Methods: 30 skin samples from human cadavers are collected where actual time of death is known, from Yenepoya Medical college mortuary. Skin samples (1 x 2 cm) from the anterior chest were collected, parallel to the longitudinal midline incision. Tissues were fixed in 10% formalin, embedded in paraffin wax, and stained with hematoxylin-eosin (H and E) and sweat glands for periodic acid-Schiff (alcian-PAS). The skin samples were observed under light microscope for the changes in the following structures:  sweat glands, sebaceous glands, and hair follicles.
Result: Sebaceous glands and Hair follicle showed minimal changes that are difficult to correlate with PMI. Changes in sweat glands shared an intermediate status between the other two groups in this study which can be sought for in relation with the relation with dermis and epidermis for correlation. Sweat gland PAS staining proved to be of no definite value in this study. This study proves that histology of skin and its appendages is a powerful tool in determining time since death.
Conclusion: This study will be helpful in determination of the time since death from the changes in skin appendages.

Keywords: Postmortem Interval.

Doi : 10.18231/j.ijfmts.2019.030

How to cite : Babu B, Vaswani V, Kumar.b K, Nallathamby R, Postmortem changes in skin appendages-A histological study. IP Int J Forensic Med Toxicol Sci 2019;4(4):130-136

Copyright © 2019 by author(s) and IP Int J Forensic Med Toxicol Sci. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-NC 4.0) (