SKIN

The skin is the largest organ in the body. It is our first line of defense against infection. It keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer and helps to support our body structure.

The skin consists of 3 separate layers. The thin layer of cells closest to the surface is called the epidermis. The epidermis consists of several layers of epithelial cells. New skin cells are produced in the bottom layer and pushed forward toward the skin surface. During normal health, this replacement process takes about 2 weeks.

The dermis is the layer of skin below the epithelium. It contains nerves, blood vessels and oil and sweat glands. If prolonged pressure is applied to this area of the skin, the blood flow to the skin can become impaired, causing the skin to suffer from lack of oxygen.

The lowest layer of the skin is the subcutaneous fat layer. This layer acts to protect the skin and insulate the body. It also contains the roots of the hair follicles.

Skin burns are categorized according to the depth of the burn and the percentage of the body surface that is burned.

Damage to the skin's surface is called "Skin Breakdown".

 

Skin

Image 1:
Layers of the skin.

 

 

 

 

 

LHSCPatients, Families & Visitors

Last Updated March 24, 2009 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada