Anatomy of Skin

Love for Your Outer Layer

The skin is the largest organ of the human body. It creates a protective layer against heat, light, the environment, injury, and infection. It also helps regulate the body’s temperature, stores water, fat and vitamin D, prevents entry of bacteria, and acts as a sensory organ. On average, an adult has between 18 and 20-square feet of skin, which weighs roughly six pounds.

There are three layers in the skin:

Epidermis

This is the outer most layer of the skin that acts as a protective barrier against foreign bodies, infections, and the sun. The epidermis contains melanocytes (cells involved in pigment production) and langerhans cells, which play a role in the immune system. It is also responsible for vitamin D production.

Dermis

The middle layer of the skin houses the dermis houses hair follicles, sebaceous (oil) glands, sweat glands, capillaries (small blood vessels), and lymph vessels. The dermis provides nutritional and structural support through a collagen and elastin matrix and helps with regulating the body’s temperature. It also contains pain and touch receptors.

Subcutaneous

This is the deepest layer of the skin containing larger blood vessels, nerves, and fat cells. The subcutaneous layer helps protect against injury and conserve body heat.