Get To Know Your Skin's Anatomy

Get To Know Your Skin's Anatomy

Get To Know Your Skin''s Anatomy

Skin has 3 layers - the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue.

1. Epidermis: The epidermis is located on the Outer Layer of Skin and can be visibly seen on the surface. The epidermis is the thinnest of the layers but also is ironically the main barrier of protection for the entire body. The epidermis is the thinnest on the eyelids at .05 mm and the thickest on the palms and soles at 1.5 mm. The thickness of the epidermis varies for different types of skin. The epidermis also contains the pigment melanin that gives skin its color.

There are 5 delicate layers of cells that make up the entire epidermis. From bottom (most internal) to top (most external) the layers are named:

Approximately every twenty-seven days new skin is regenerated through skin cell turnover. The bottom layer, known as stratum corneum, is where new skin cells originate. As cells are created they crowd and are pushed upward into the next higher layer. As the cells move into the higher layers, they flatten and eventually die. As old, dead skin cells reach the outer surface, they slough off replaced by the upward moving cells below them.

2. Dermis: The Middle Layer underneath supporting the epidermis is known as the dermis. The dermis is a complex matrix of hair follicles, blood vessels, and sebaceous (oil) glands.

The dermis contains elastic fibers known as elastin and protein fibers called collagen, and fibroblasts "glue like" cells that synthesize collagen and elastin together to form skin''s elasticity, support, and suppleness.

Elastin, like the word elastic is the protein that works with collagen in the dermis, giving skin vital snap or spring allowing it to main firm structure. Elastin diminishes in our skin over time causing skin to loosen and sag.

The dermis layer is also responsible for wrinkles. Collagen, the fountain of youth is the most abundant protein making up 75% of skin. Overtime, environmental factors and aging deplete the body''s ability to produce collagen.

3. Subcutaneous Tissue: Subcutaneous tissueis the layer of fat and connective tissue containing larger blood vessels and nerves. This layer works to regulate the temperature of the skin itself and the body. The thickness of this layer varies throughout the body and from person to person.

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