Generally, the skin is considered the largest body organ. In achieving healthy skin, you must pay attention to the internal and external parts of the skin. There are 7 layers of skin in the human body, each with different functions. Understanding this enables you to be intentional about grooming and improving your skin.
Without wasting much of our time, let’s explore.
General functions of the 7 layers of skin
Before gaining more profound knowledge, check out some general skin functions.
- It helps maintain body temperature.
- The skin helps in preventing water loss from the body.
- It is the body’s first defence against microorganisms, ultraviolet light and injury.
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7 Layers of Skin: Description and functions
As we stated earlier, the skin is often known as the largest organ in the human body. Therefore, it is divided into the first five layers, which form the epidermis and two other layers, which form the dermis.
The epidermis is the skin’s visible outer layer that protects against germs, injury and dehydration. It also doubles as a center for skin cell renewal and is responsible for its colour due to the presence of melanocytes. Five layers of skin make up the epidermis.
We will explore these layers from the outermost layer on the surface of the skin till we get to the innermost layer.
Firstly, this layer comprises 15-30 layers of dead keratinized cells, which helps protect the skin against bacteria and Ultraviolet light damage. It is essentially the first line of protection. Secondly, it helps the skin stay hydrated due to prevention of moisture loss.
Secondly, the cells here are shed off every four weeks.
This layer contains tightly packed keratinocyte cells alongside seleiden, a visible protein rich in lipids.
You can find this as the thick skin in the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. This layer of skin helps the body withstand friction. Consequently, the presence of seleiden makes these parts look somewhat transparent.
Stratum granulosum is made up of 3-5 layers of keratinocyte cells. It has a grain-like appearance due to the changes in keratinocytes that migrate to this layer. It acts as a waterproof layer, preventing the body from losing water.
Lastly, fats in this layer keep the skin cells attached.
Just like the other 7 layer of skin, stratum spinosum is composed of daughter keratinocytes and dendritic cells, which fight infections in the body. It is also called the prickle cell layer, and has a shiny appearance due to the presence of protruding structures called desmosomes.
Furthermore, this skin layer enables the epidermis to withstand the effects of abrasion and friction better.
This is the deepest layer of epidermis and comprises keratinocytes, melanocytes and tactile cells. It is also called the stratum germinativum due to the occurrence of cell division (mitosis) and replenishment of skin cells.
However, the cells in this layer are attached to the dermal layer (basement membrane) of the skin via collagen fibers.
This layer can be found beneath the epidermis, which houses blood vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands and nerve endings. Its functions are providing firmness, strength and elasticity to the skin. It is divided into two skin layers:
The papillary layer contains adipocytes (fat cells), phagocytes (defensive cells) and blood vessels. It also contain nerve fibers, lymphatic capillaries and touch receptors. Most importantly, it connects the dermis to the epidermis.
Firstly, temperature is regulated with capillaries, which bring nutrients to the skin and increase or decrease blood flow.
Secondly, it also contains sensory neurons that help sense cold, touch, pain, etc. Lastly, this layer of skin is responsible for fingerprints.
This thick layer is composed of dense connective tissue. It contains collagen, hair follicles, sweat glands, oil-producing glands (sebaceous glands) and elastin fibers. These help in strengthening and providing elasticity to the skin.
How to Take Care of Your Skin?
You don’t need to go to Havard to get a secret formula to care for your skin. Neither do you have to treat your skin as rinse and repeat. You must intentionally improve and maintain a healthy skin because your beautiful skin must be shown to the world. Below are some essential tips you can do daily:
A. Cleanse Your Skin Twice A Day
Firstly, a cleanser ensures your skin is free of germs or excess oil. Secondly, it also helps remove dead skin cells, which may cause your skin to appear dull.
B. Moisten it!
Applying a good moisturizer helps keep the skin soft and supple. Furthermore, it also strengthens the stratum corneum, hereby preventing water loss.
C. Sunscreen while out
Exposure to UV radiation causes melanocytes in the stratum basale to produce more melanin. This can cause skin damage such as dark spots, wrinkles and skin cancer. To prevent this, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin while out of the house.
D. Right meals at the right time
There are so many perks in eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and ensuring that you eat them at the right time is very important. Also, consider consumption of vitamins from natural sources, as they can boost your skin’s health. Lastly, take enough water daily.
You can also check this out: Golden Skin Tone: What you need to know
Understanding how your skin works will enable you to take the proper steps for its care. It helps you apply the best knowledge of skincare routine, leaving your skin to be adored by people when you step out. I am confident that this article will help substitute your skin for one of the 7th wonders of the world.