Different Layers of Our Skin – Epidermis

Hot Health
By Hot Health August 25, 2016 20:56
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Different Layers of Our Skin – Epidermis

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The Epidermis of the Skin – What Is It, Why Is It So Important?

The skin, not many people realize, is the biggest organ of the human body. It is made up of billions of cells and consists of three layers – the epidermis, dermis and hypo dermis. 

The epidermis, the outermost layer, is the most important layer of the skin. It is the epidermis that gives us our looks. It is the body’s first line of defense against extreme heat or cold, dehydration, infections and injury.


All About Epidermis – Everything You Wanted to Know!


What is Epidermis?

The epidermis is, in simple words, the part of the skin that we see. It is the outermost layer of the skin, one that is clearly visible to the naked eye. We can’t the other layers of the skin – dermis and hypo dermis. The epidermis is clear and it is visible. Typically, the body sheds billions of skin cells from the epidermis every day and replaces them with new skin cells, generated in the inner layers.

Skin Layers of Epidermis

The epidermis is 0.5 to 1 mm thick. It consists of different sub-layers. The uppermost layer of the epidermis is called the stratum corneum. Below that is the transitional or translucent layer which is made up of translucent cells. This layer is very thin and is in fact visible in some people who have particularly thick skins.

Then you have the Supra Basal layers. These layers consist of 3 to 5 rows of flattened cells. Just below the Supra Basal layers is a layer of cone shaped cells that are rich in Keratin.

The basal layer is the lowest layer of the epidermis. It is here that the new skin cells created by the dermis and hypo dermis are divided and sent upwards to the outer layers of the epidermis.


The Different Cells of the Epidermis

Epidermis has three types of cells – melanocytes, keratinocytes, and Langerhans. The keratinocytes are the most predominant cells of the Epidermis. These cells form a protein called keratin.

The keratinocytes are divided in the lowest layer of the epidermis. As they divide, they shed moisture and flatten out even as they travel to the uppermost layer of the epidermis. They have a very short lifespan and soon die out, following which they are shed by the skin.

 The stratum corneum or the outermost layer of the epidermis is made from these dead cells or keratinocytes. The keratin produced by these cells is a hardened protein, which forms a strong, protective crust on the outer layer of the skin.

All the dead skin cells are eventually replaced by newer and younger ones, the process repeats for as long as you are alive. The human skin renews itself entirely for every 3 to 5 weeks, which means you get a new skin every 3 to 5 weeks!  

The melonocytes are the other important cells of the epidermis. These cells are responsible for the creation of the pigment, melanin. It is melanin that gives us our skin color. The melanin pigment found in the epidermis of the skin is what gives us our skin color.

Africans or African-Americans have a dark skin because they have the highest concentration of melanin pigment. Caucasians have a much lighter skin tone as they have fewer melanin pigments. Asians fall somewhere in between.

Finally, the Langerhans are the skin cells that act as a protective layer and prevent external materials from penetrating into the epidermis. These cells act as a wall that protect the epidermis and give the skin its immunity against free radicals, bacteria and viruses.

Hot Health
By Hot Health August 25, 2016 20:56
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