Your skin’s structure

We wouldn’t be who we are without our skin. It protects us from the outside world, maintains our body temperature, creates essential vitamin D, and helps us interact with the people we love. But it’s also sensitive and needs our care and attention to stay healthy. Let's learn more about skin structure and the role it plays in keeping us healthy.
The structure of your skin

Our Skin Structure

Skin, our largest organ has three distinct parts:
  • The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin. The stratum corneum is the most external part of the epidermis and serves as a physical barrier, protecting the body against external aggressions such as cold temperature, UV and infections. The rest of the epidermis mostly serves the role of producing the skin barrier.2
  • The dermis is the middle layer of the skin, which contains blood vessels, nerves, and other structures, such as hair follicles and sweat glands.  
  • The hypodermis is the deepest layer and the thickest part of the skin. It contains fat cells that forms as an energy reserve that allows thermal regulation of the body.
Parent applying barrier cream to baby's arms and hands.

 The role of the skin

Our skin is the body’s biggest organ, and it performs many functions. A major role is for protection against physical aggressors such as friction, chemicals and infection, as well as against harmful UV rays. Besides protecting against external forces, it’s also our largest sensory organ, and we receive much information about the world through the nerve endings in our skin. These experiences range from heat, cold and pain to the comforting touch of friends and loved ones.

Another major role of the skin is temperature regulation. Our skin contains about 2-5 million sweat glands, and we can sweat up to 10 or more liters per day in hot climates to help our bodies cool down. When it’s cold, sweat production and blood supply to the skin is reduced to help conserve heat in deeper organs.3

 

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ASC Reference No.: B015P012221BS