Skin is a brilliant structure of our body. It is very elastic and pretty strong to protect internal tissue. It also acts as a thermoregulator of our entire body protecting us from overheats when we sweat and when there is cold, the blood flow is reduced to skin tissues to save heat to the body’s inner organs.
Skin is pretty resistant to harmful chemicals, microorganisms, and if dry, it has high electrical receptivity. From the biochemical side, the skin can produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, which is essential for our bones’ growth and maintenance. The extensive network of nerves within the skin feeds information continuously to the brain concerning our surroundings. So it is full of sensors to know the external world like temperature, pressure. Don’t even let me start about skin importance in the fashion industry. About how much there is the attention paid to cosmetics, beauty shine. Skin can show you if you’re shy or cold, or afraid. As you see, your body’s top layer of skin can tell you so many things; get to know it.
Skin structure diagram
Mainly people used to name only two layers of skin epidermis and dermis. But in reality, they’re more layers with their own properties. In some cases, dermatologists describe there even more layers of sub-layers. I am going to be in the middle of this. Let’s see the skin structure first:
So we can see the histological cut of the skin layer. There are layers as follows:
- Stratum cornea;
- Papillary dermis;
- Reticular Dermis;
- Hypodermic layer.
A little bit about all of them:
It is the most top skin layer of dead cells. These cells are keratin impregnated and protect the skin surface. As well see later in my articles, it also acts as a light diffuser. Then follows more important skin layer
The epidermis is about 0.1mm thick. It mainly consists of connective tissue and cells, so-called melanosomes that produce the pigment melanin. The most exciting part is melanosomes and melanin. Melanin is a pigment, which protects your deeper organs from hazardous Ultraviolet light.
White people got less of them; people with dark skin have more of them. In the summertime when you get a sunburn, you get darker, because your skin is trying to protect you from harmful ultraviolet light. This is why you should be very careful when taking sunbathes at springtime or at the beginning of summer because your skin isn’t ready for taking much sunlight. Little by little, taking sunbathes, your skin produces more melanin, and so you are more protected. People in Africa have dark skin – guess why?
Let us leave Epidermis to go to Dermis side.
The papillary dermis interconnects with the epidermis. It consists of dense collagen tissue; this is why mainly, almost all light is reflected from this layer. Papillary dermis supports the epidermis with vital nutrients and secondly to provide a network for thermo-regulation. There is not, or there is minimal melanin pigment on this layer.
This layer consists of dense irregular connective tissue, which differs from the papillary dermis, mainly loose connective tissue. The reticular layer of the dermis is essential in giving the skin its overall strength and elasticity and housing other important epithelial-derived structures such as glands and hair follicles.
The subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis) is the deepest layer of the skin. It is missing on parts of the body where the skin is especially thin-the eyelids, nipples, genitals, and shins. Subcutaneous tissue acts both as an insulator, conserving body heat, and as a shock absorber, protecting internal organs from injury. It also stores fat as an energy reserve if extra calories are needed to power the body. The blood vessels, nerves, lymph vessels, and hair follicles also cross through this layer.