Skin Anatomy

Medical illustration of the layers of skin
layers of skin

Anatomy, Physiology and Histology...Oh My!

I know that the three words listed above make most people cringe. Hearing "anatomy, physiology and histology" might make your thoughts wander to a former A&P class that you'd rather forget or to a lab partner that made your skin crawl. Perhaps hearing those words invokes a positive memory if you're fond of the sciences. Whatever the case may be, knowing general anatomy and physiology can prove to be beneficial, answering the question, "Why is it important to care for my skin?".

There are three primary layers of skin: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis (i.e.”“fatty tissue). To further classify, the epidermis contains five sub-layers, and the dermis contains two sub-layers. Each square inch of skin is composed of millions of cells, fifteen feet of blood vessels, twelve feet of nerves, six-hundred fifty sweat glands, one-hundred oil glands, sixty-five hairs, thirteen-hundred nerve endings, one-hundred fifty-five pressure receptors, and twelve cold/heat receptors. Wow! Who knew such a small area could hold so much? Amazingly enough, our skin can and does on a daily basis.

The skin undergoes continual changes throughout life as outer layers are constantly shed and replaced by inner layers. The epidermis, which is sustained and supported by the dermis, is made primarily of keratinocytes. These keratin cells, formed in the basal layer of the epidermis, regularly move upward and are shed through a process known as cell turnover. As we age, this skin proliferation slows and signs of aging become more pronounced. Also as we age, signs of sun damage become more significant if DNA and melanin synthesizing cells (i.e.”“melanocytes) have been mutated due to ultraviolet radiation.

In a separate post, I will discuss the dermis in further detail, as fibroblasts, collagen and elastin contained in this portion of the skin are vitally important. However, I will conclude today's post by connecting the dots. Here's how all of this information relates to your skin: to prevent the signs of aging, you must be committed to following rules of healthy living, such as using sunscreen on consistent basis, getting adequate rest, and maintaining proper nutrition. To counteract present damage, you must address the underlying issues to a depth only possible with prescription products and medical procedures. Products bought over-the-counter, in department stores, or in boutiques cannot work at this deeper level. Rx-strength skin care regulates keratin and melanin production, reaching the immediate upper reticular dermis.

Good skin starts today! Practice healthy habits, begin a prescription at-home regimen, and implement medical aesthetic treatments that will not only enhance the outward appearance of your skin, but will also achieve your skin's optimum health.

If you would like to make an appointment or talk to someone about our services, please call 410-328-SKIN (7546) or 410-328-FACE (3223).

This page was last updated: July 15, 2013

         
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