The Skin Layers: Parts of the Skin and Their Functions

Welcome. Here, we will take a look at the skin layers and their functions,

The skin is the largest organ in the human body, which is composed of three layers:

  • The Epidermis Layer
  • The Dermis Layer
  • The Subcutis (Fat) Layer

1. Epidermis Layer

It is made up of close to 20 tightly packed layers of cells (Squamous and Keratinocytes cells). The lower part of this layer is called the Basal Layer, and it is where new epidermal cells are formed by cell division.

The new cells that are formed in the Basal Layer then displace the old, dull cells from the surface of the skin by causing them to shed.

It takes almost 28 days for a normal, healthy skin cell to shed. The Keratinous (Horny) layer is where the skin cells are dead, closely packed, and flattened, offering the skin its protective capabilities.

Also available in the Epidermis are the Melanocytes, which produce a pigment called Melanin, that gives the skin a dark color. The Langerhans cells are actively involved in the body’s immune system.

2. Dermis

This is the second layer of the skin where we have the

Collagen and Elastin Fibers

They provide the skin with strength and elasticity. They allow the skin to return back to its initial position after it has been stretched. They are proteins in the form of fibers.Younger vs Older Skin | Mololo Cosmetics As a person ages or with a lot of sun exposure, the Collagen and Elastin Fibers would become weaken, causing fine lines and wrinkles.

Sebaceous Gland

These glands are connected to the hair follicle, secreting their content into the follicle via a tiny duct.

The hair is controlled by the Arrector Pili Muscle. When they contract, the hair stands up (due to goosebumps).

Sweat Gland

Here we have the Eccrine Sweat Gland and the Apocrine Sweat Gland (responsible for body odor). Please read more about the causes of body odor here.

Blood Vessels

Nerves and sensory organs. The main cells of the dermis are the collagen fibers and the intercellular substance that acts as a “cement” for all the components of the Dermis.

3. Subcutis Layer

This is the last layer of the skin, found beneath the Dermis. This layer serves as an insulating layer to protect us against cold. And it also serves as a strong protective support to the body’s vital organs like the heart, liver, and kidney, preventing them from mechanical trauma.

Now that we have learned the skin layers, it’s time to see the skin structure in teens, 20s, 30s, and more.