Saturday, December 24, 2011

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Skin - structure

The skin is sometimes called the cutaneous membrane or the integument. It has 2 regions notably the epidermis and the dermis. The hypodermis is a subcutaneous tissue and is found between the dermis and any underlying structure like muscles. 

Epidermis
It is the outer and thinner layer of the skin. It is made up of stratified squamous epithelium divided into several layers; the deepest layer is the stratum basale, and the most superficial layer is the stratum corneum. The deepest layer is constantly producing new cells and pushing them to the surface. The stratum corneum, on the other hand, gets keratinised to form a waterproof layer and also acts as a mechanical barrier. 

Dermis
It is a thicker and denser region than the epidermis. It is composed of dense and irregular connective tissues. Its upper layer has structures called as dermal papillae that project into the epidermis to cause ridges. These form unique patterns and give the characteristic fingerprint to all individuals, though its primary function was to increase friction and give a better grip. 
It is also a highly vascular region. It is here that blood increases when you blush.

Hypodermis
It is composed of loose connective tissues including adipose tissue (fat). This layer helps to give insulation to the body. Excess of adipose tissue in this layer leads to obesity. It is in this layer that subcutaneous injections are given.

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