Skin School “Anatomy and Physiology”
Skin is the largest organ in the body and covers the body’s entire external surface. It contributes to our general health as well as our cosmesis. Understanding basic skin anatomy and biology will help shed light on why taking care of your skin is important for your overall health and vibrancy.
ANATOMY OF SKIN
This not meant to be a medical student Anatomy class but just basic principles.
It is made up of three layers, all three of which vary significantly in their anatomy and function.
- There are 5 layers of the epidermis including the
- The deepest layer is called the basal layer
- The most superficial portion of the epidermis is called the corneum
- There are 4 different types of cells that make up the five layers. (Keratinocytes, Melanocytes, Langerhans’ cells, and Merkel’s cell). These cells give skin its function.
II. Dermis: The dermis is connected to the epidermis below the basal cell layer. the sweat glands, hair, hair follicles, muscles, sensory neurons, and blood vessels.
III. Hypodermis: The hypodermis is below the dermis. It is the deepest layer of skin and contains fat lobules, some sparse hair follicles, nerves, and blood vessels.
BIOLOGY OF SKIN
The skin has several functions.
1: Skin is the first site of defense against foreign invaders (i.e. bacteria) Langerhans cells in the epidermis which are part of the immune system and responsible for this defense.
2: The skin regulates temperature and water loss. This primarily through sweating.
3: The skin is responsible for the production of Vitamin D in the epidermis with the assistance of UV light from the sun.
4: Another important role of the skin is a sensation to touch, heat, cold, and pain by the actions of the different nerves. This is protective mostly to prevent injury.
5: The general appearance, turgor (pliability), and other qualities also give insight into the general health of the body
Remember! Skin is very important to your health. This is why it is crucial to take care of your skin with a good skin plan. Good skincare and healthy lifestyle choices can help delay natural aging and prevent various skin problems.