Although a wide variety of protein profiles have been extensively constructed via proteomic analysis, the comprehensive proteomic profiling of the skin, which is considered to be the largest organ of the human body, is still far from complete. Our efforts to establish the functional skin proteome, a protein database describing the protein networks that underlie biological processes, has set in motion the identification and characterization of proteins expressed in the epidermis and dermis of the BALB/c mice. In this review, we will highlight various cutaneous proteins we have characterized and discuss their biological functions associated with skin distress, immunity, and cancer. This type of research into functional skin proteomics will provide a critical step toward understanding disease and developing successful therapeutic strategies. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.