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Anatomy of the Skin

 

Skin is the single largest organ of the body. The skin provides a protective layer against heat, light, the environment, injury and infection. It also helps regulate the body's temperature; stores water, fat and Vitamin D; prevents entry of bacteria; and acts as a sensory organ. On average, an adult has between 18-20 square feet of skin, weighing roughly six pounds. There are three layers of skin:

 
Epidermis
The outermost layer acts as a protective barrier against foreign bodies, infections and the sun. The epidermis also contains the cells (melanocytes), which are responsible for skin pigmentation. The epidermis regularly sloughs off dead skin cells.
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Dermis
Dermis is the middle layer of skin, housing hair follicles, sebaceous (oil) glands, sweat glands, capillaries (small blood vessels) and lymph vessels. The dermis is held together by a protein called collagen, which gradually breaks down as we age. The sweat glands are part of the body's natural cooling system. The dermis also contains touch and pain receptors.
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Subcutaneous
This is the deepest layer of skin containing larger blood vessels and nerves. The subcutaneous layer of skin is composed of a network of collagen and fat cells . It plays an important role in the manufacture of Vitamin D. It also protects against injury and helps conserve body heat.
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