The layers of the human skin

The skin is the largest organ of the human body and different layers make sure to protect us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate body temperature, and permits the sensations of touch, heat, and cold.

Today we will discuss the three different layers of the human skin.

1. Epidermis. This is the top layer of the skin, this is the layer that you see every day. The epidermis contains no blood vessels.

Epidermis is responsible for:

  • Making new skin cells: This actually happens at the bottom of the epidermis. The skin cells travel up to the top layer and flake off, about a month after they form.
  • Giving skin its color: The epidermis makes melanin, which is what gives your skin its color.
  • Protecting your body: The epidermis helps the skin to regulate body temperature. The epidermis also has special cells that are part of your immune system and help you stay healthy.

2. Dermis. Also called “true skin”, is the layer beneath the epidermis. The dermis is structurally divided into two areas: a superficial area adjacent to the epidermis, called the papillary region, and a deep thicker area known as the reticular region.

Dermis is responsible for:

  • Making sweat: There are little pockets called sweat glands in the dermis. They make sweat, which goes through little tubes and comes out of holes called pores. Sweating keeps you cool and helps you get rid of bad stuff your body doesn’t need.
  • Helping you feel things: Nerve endings in the dermis help you feel things. They send signals to your brain, so you know how something feels if it hurts (meaning you should stop touching it), is itchy or feels nice when you touch it.
  • Growing hair: The dermis is where you’ll find the root of each tiny little hair on your skin. Each root attaches to a tiny little muscle that tightens and gives you goose bumps when you are cold or are scared.
  • Making oil: Another type of little pocket, or gland, in your skin makes oil. The oil keeps your skin soft, smooth and waterproof. Sometimes the glands make too much oil and give you pimples.
  • Bringing blood to your skin: Blood feeds your skin and takes away bad stuff through little tubes called blood vessels.


3. Hypodermis. It lies below the dermis and is actually subcutaneous fat.

  • Attach the skin to underlying bone and muscle. The Connecting tissue in de hypodermis attaches the dermis to your muscles and bones.
  • Supplying it with blood vessels and nerves: Blood vessels and nerve cells that start in the dermis get bigger and go to the rest of your body from here.
  • Controlling your body temperature: The subcutaneous fat is the layer that helps keep your body from getting too warm or too cold.
  • Storing your fat: This fat pads your muscles and bones and protects them from bumps and falls.

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