Sunday, 3 June 2012

Basic Concepts of the Human Skin

What is Human Skin?

Human skin is the largest organ that acts as the primary defense line against disease and injury. It protects the body from excessive water loss and receives information from the environment through nerves that respond to pressure, pain, heat or cold.

The Layers of Skin

        Human skin is composed of three distinct layers that function differently. They are "epidermis," "dermis," and "hypodermis (subcutaneous tissue)." 

A cross-section of human skin

    Epidermis- the topmost layer of skin that consists of mainly dead and dying cells. It is also the scientific term for the word "skin." 

    Dermis- the second and the middle layer of skin that is supplied with blood vessels, nerves, hair roots and sweat glands. It is where new cells are born.

    Hypodermis (aka. subcutaneous tissue)- the third and the innermost layer of human skin.Contains larger blood vessels, nerves and clumps of fat-filled cells that cushions the skin.

Fun Facts

Did you know?
  • Up to three billion skin cells are shed daily. This is necessary because skin cells can detoxify harmful substances.

  • When we talk about “aging,” we are potentially talking about the damage to the dermis. A healthy dermis is what keeps our faces “youthful.” Overexposure to UV rays can cause saggy skin or permanent blemishes.

blemishes on skin
  • Hypodermis is often unappreciated by people because it is composed of mainly fat.  However, it is an important insulator that regulates the body’s temperature. 

a microscopic view of the hypodermis from the neck


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