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    Skin Anatomy & Physiology

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    The epidermis is the skin’s outermost structure functioning as the protective cover of the skin. The part we can see, the horny layer, is only the top part of the epidermis. 

    Epidermis

    The epidermis is the skin’s outermost structure functioning as the protective cover of the skin. The part we can see, the horny layer, is only the top part of the epidermis. Keratinocytes reproduce themselves at the basal layer of the epidermis and migrate towards the skin’s surface over a period of 28 days in optimal skin. As they do so, they gradually flatten, eventually lose their nucleuses and die. Finally, under the programmed action of specific enzymes, these dead cells lose their cohesion and separate from the surface one by one resulting in desquamation. This process allows the epidermis to continually renew itself.

    Composition :

    • Keratinocytes 85%;
    • Merkel cells 6-10%;
    • Melanocytes 5%;
    • Langerhams cells 2-5%.

    Dermis

    Made up of water, elastin fibres and collagen floating in a glycoprotein gel, the dermis is the tissue supporting the skin. In contrast with the epidermis, it is vascularised, enabling it to not only provide energy and nutrition to the epidermis, but also to play a primordial role in thermoregulation and healing.

    Composition :

    • Eau 80%;
    • Élastine 3-4%;
    • Fibroblastes 3-4%;
    • Glycoprotéines 2%;
    • Collagène 10-12%.

    Hypodermis

    The hypodermis is the innermost and thickest layer of the skin. It is attached to the dermis, immediately above it, by collagen and elastin fibres. It is essentially composed of adipocytes, cells specialized in accumulating, storing and releasing fats. These cells are grouped together in lobules separated by connective tissue.

    Composition :

    • Adipocytes 90%;
    • Vaisseaux sanguins et lymphatiques 4-6%;
    • Tissu conjonctif de soutien 4-6%.