Structure and Physiology

The three tissue layers of the skin, depicted in Figure 8-1, are as follows:

# Epidermis

• Dermis Subcutaneous tissue

The epidermis is the thin, outermost layer of the skin. It is composed of several layers of keratocytes, or keratin-producing cells. Keratin is an insoluble protein that provides the skin with its protective properties. The stratum corneum is the outermost layer of the epidermis and serves as a major physical barrier. The stratum corneum is composed of keratinized cells, which appear as dry, flattened, anuclear, and adherent flakes. The basal cell layer is the deepest layer of the epidermis and is a single row of rapidly proliferating cells that slowly migrate upward, keratinize, and are ultimately shed from the stratum corneum. The process of

SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE

EPIDERMIS

DERMIS

Blood vessels

Basement membrane

SUBCUTANEOUS TISSUE

EPIDERMIS

DERMIS

Blood vessels

Figure 8-1 Cross section through the skin, illustrating the structures in the epidermis and subcutaneous tissues.

Sebaceous gland

Figure 8-2 Types of sweat glands.

Sebaceous gland

Figure 8-2 Types of sweat glands.

Eccrine gland Apocrine gland Hair follicle

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