THE ANATOMY OF THE SKIN

A Look Inside The Layers of Your Skin

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The Epidermis

The Epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin designed to cover and protect us.

The Epidermis itself consists of 4 layers:

  1. Basal Cell Layer
  2. Stratum Spinosum
  3. Stratum Granulosum
  4. Stratum Corneum

The Epidermis varies in thickness depending on which part of the body it is protecting. For example, the skin on the heels of the feet is thicker than the inside of our arms. The more physical contact the skin has to endure from the environment, the thicker it is in order to provide protection.

Skin cells of the Epidermis overlap each other. Overlapping ensures that no body fluids escape except by natural openings such as sweat glands or hair follicles.

Because the Epidermis is exposed to the environment, it is subject to damage such as cuts, burns or abrasions and wear and tear caused by friction. It constantly performs repair work on itself by renewing damaged skin cells.

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New cells grow from the bottom up and dead skin cells are shed at the top. This shedding and renewal of skin takes 30 days:

  1. A new cell is born in the bottom layer
  2. This cell is pushed towards the surface by other cells growing beneath it
  3. By the time this cell reaches the surface, it ends up dead
  4. The dead cell is ready to be shed
  5. After the dead cell has been shed, another cell beneath it takes its place

The Dermis

The Dermis, the middle layer of the skin, consists mainly of Collagen and Elastin. Collagen is a protein produced in the skin that forms fibers

Collagen gives the body its structure, keeping body parts and tissue connected and joined to each other. Without Collagen, the body would collapse

Collagen gives the skin its fullness, firmness and strength. Collagen and Elastin work together to give the skin its bounce and elasticity. As we age, the body produces less collagen causing the skin to sag

The Dermis contains Nerves, Blood Vessels, Sebaceous Glands and Sweat Glands

Nerves provide the sense of touch and feeling associated with the skin. Through the nerves, we feel sensations of hot or cold, soft or hard or perceive things to be pleasant or unpleasant, enabling us to make sense of the outside world through the sense of touch.

Blood Vessels supply blood carrying oxygen and nutrients to nourish the skin. As we age, blood vessels become hardened and clogged up inhibiting the flow of healthy blood to the skin. DMK ENZYME treatments are designed to dilate the blood vessels in order to promote the flow of healthy, oxygenated blood.

Sebaceous Glands secrete sebum which keeps the skin lubricated. Sebum prevents hair and skin from becoming too dry. Sebum is an oily, wax-like substance containing oil, wax and dead cells. Sebaceous Glands are located below each hair follicle all over the body and in parts where there is little or no hair.

Sweat Glands, also known as Sudoriferous Glands, keep the body cool by secreting sweat on the surface. In this way, body temperature is regulated to keep it constant

The Dermis supports the Epidermis enabling it to be connected to the underlying muscles.

The Hyperdermis

The Hyperdermis is also known as the subcutaneous layer or Subcutis. The Subcutis tissue mainly consists of Fat Cells. These Fat Cells form a yellowish layer of fatty tissue that is situated at the deeper or lowest layer of the skin.

This fatty tissue is where the body stores fat. An over production of these fat cells in the skin due to improper diet or a lack of exercise is what causes some people to appear to be overweight.

Fat Cells that make up the fatty tissue are called Lipocytes. Lipocytes make a substance called Lipids. Lipids are nothing more than fat or oil. All fats are basically lipids. Fatty Acids that are very important for us in our diet are made up of Lipids

The Lipocytes in the fatty layer of the skin acts as a reservoir for this fat or lipids. It releases the lipids as the body needs them. Lipids store energy that is used by the body as fuel. Fat is what we need to keep us energized.

Besides storing energy, Lipids are also needed for cell growth.

Because the Subcutaneous tissue of the skin mainly consists of fat cells, the fat layer that is formed acts as an insulator for the body. This insulation is what keeps us warm. Together with the operation of the Sweat Glands, the body’s temperature is constantly regulated and maintained

The fat layer also protects the inner organs and bone structure of the body because it acts as a cushion.

As we age, this fatty layer becomes thinner. This can cause problems because the organs and bones are less protected. A thinner layer of fat also causes the skin to lack that firm, full look.

Articles By Dr. Danné Montague-King

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Danné Montague-King South Africa

DMK is THE ONE - World Leaders in Paramedical Skin Revision!