The Three Layers of the Skin


The skin serves as protection to our body by keeping the right temperature for it to be able to perform its task the accurate way (Encarta, 2007). Furthermore, it also protects the immune system, consequently guarding us from different sicknesses (Encarta, 2007). This paper entitled, “The Three Layers of the Skin” intends to reintroduce the epidermis, dermis, as well as, the subcutaneous tissue which are the three layers of the skin (Encarta, 2007). In addition to that, it also aims to state the functions of the aforementioned.

The skin is composed of three layers. The first one is technically referred to as the epidermis, which is the skin located at the outermost layer (Encarta, 2007). The aforementioned layer, in turn, has layers as well, namely: 1) stratum corneum, which is composed of dead, flat skin cells that shed approximately every fourteen days; 2) stratum licidum; 3) stratum granulosum; 4) stratum spinosum; and 5) stratum basale, which are column-like in shape, wherein cells break up and drives the cells into the upper layers, and when they do, they turn flat and die (Encarta, 2007). Furthermore, in this first layer, one can discover the three types of specialized cells including: 1) “Melanocyte”, which brings into being the pigment technically known as the melanin; 2) “Langerhans’ cell, which guards the skin’s immune system; and 3) “Merkel’s cell” (Encarta, 2007).

The second one is known as the dermis which is made up of three types of tissue including: 1) collagen; 2) elastic tissue; 3) reticular fibers (Encarta, 2007). The dermis has two layers as well, namely: 1) the papillary layer, which is located on top and that which is composed of a thin arrangement of collagen fibers; and 2) the reticular layer, which is located at the bottom and that which is made up of thick collagen fibers put together in a parallel manner (Encarta, 2007).

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Moreover, in this second layer, one can discover the specialized dermal cells, including: 1) hair follicles, which are located along with the “pili muscle” and that which joins each follicle; 2) “sebaceous oil glands” & “apocrine scent glands”, which are related with the follicle; 3) eccrine (sweat) glands; 4) blood vessels & nerves, which convey feelings of itch, pain, as well as, temperature; and 5) Meissner’s & Vater-Pacini corpuscles, which convey the feelings of pressure and touch (Encarta, 2007). The last layer is known as the “subcutaneous tissue”, which is made up of connective and fat tissues that accommodates blood vessels, as well as, nerves (Encarta, 2007). The subcutaneous tissue actually plays a large role in the control of the skin’s temperature (Encarta, 2007).


Encarta (2007). Skin. Retrieved May 30, 2007 from

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