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Healthy Skin
Subcutaneous Layer

 

 

Understanding Skin Structure

 

The fact that your skin makes up 15% of your body weight makes it the largest organ in your body.  In the average adult, this can be as much as twelve to even twenty square feet of skin.  Skin is also seventy percent water so hydration is vitally important.

The skin comprises of three layers; these are the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis, which is also called subcutaneous tissue.

The epidermis is the outside layer of skin and is your first barrier of defense between you and external elements.  Between 0.5 – 1 mm thick it comprises of three different types of cells - keratinocytes, melanocytes and Langerhans.

 

Keratinocytes

Keratinocytes are the cells that produce the protein keratin and they are the principal cells of the epidermis or outside layer of skin.  When immature they divide rapidly in the lower portion of the epidermis but as they mature, they flatten out, lose water and move upwards towards the surface of your skin.  The surface of your skin, known as the stratum corneum, consists mainly of dead keratinocyte cells, hardened proteins and lipids, which together form a protective crust.  These dead cells continually fall off and newer ones coming up from further down replace them.  Known as the renewal process this can take between 3-5 weeks, although exfoliating will speed up the process.

 

Melanocytes

Melanocytes are the cells that produce the pigment melanin; these cells are responsible for the color and tone of your skin.

 

Langerhans

Langerhans are the cells responsible for protecting your skin from an invasion of unwanted foreign substances.

Continued:

Healthy Skin
Subcutaneous Layer

 

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