Skin Layers

Our skin is built up of two main layers. Within these two layers there are a range of different skin cells, sub-layers, nerves, blood vessels, sweat and oil glands, hair follicles, collagen and elastin fibres.

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The first, outer layer of skin is called the Epidermis. The thickness of the Epidermis differ from person to person. The Epidermis itself consists of four other main layers, which are: the Stratum Corneum, the Stratum Granulosum, the Stratum

Spinosum and the Basal Layer.

The Stratum Corneum is the top layer in the Epidermis and is mostly composed of dead, flat skin cells.

The dead cells of the Stratum Corneum are shed approximately 2-4 weeks.

The Basal layer is in the base of the Epidermis, this is where the new cells are born and pushed towards the Stratum Corneum.

As the cells approach the skin’s surface, they flatten and eventually die away. When the layer before them is shed, they become the outer surface of the Epidermis.

Below the Epidermis lies the second major layer, which is called the Dermis.

The Dermis is entirely made up of living cells. The Dermis layer of the skin consists of blood vessels, elastin fibres, collagen, lymphatic channels, oil and sweat glands.

The two main sub-layers of the Dermis are: the Papillary Dermis layer and the Reticular Dermis layer.

The Papillary layer has a thin layer of Collagen fibres aligned parallel to the skin’s surface. When these fibres begin to weaken, fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear.

In the Reticular layer thicker Collagen fibres are lined up parallel to the surface, as well as many other specialised cells and structures, including hair follicles, sweat and oil glands, blood vessels and nerves.

The Reticular layer is responsible for regulation of the body’s temperature and sensations (such as pain, itchiness, etc.).

After the Dermis (below that is) lies the Subcutaneous layer, which is generally composed of fat and connective tissues. Main nerves and larger blood vessels are located in this layer.

The fat cells of this layer store excess fat when weight gain occurs. This layer functions as insulation for our body and will store extra fat to protect us from cold temperatures, cases of trauma or famine.

This is an elementary view into the world of our skin, the various layers and how they interact with each other.

The skin is one of the most complex organs of our body. It is important to understand simple things about the skin in order to be able to protect it, prevent any skin conditions and help to slow down the aging process.

Understanding basic knowledge of the different layers of skin and how it works will help you to choose appropriate skin care and look after it properly.