The outermost epidermis is consists of stratified squamous epithelium with an underlying basement membrane. It contains no blood vessels, and is nourished by diffusion from the dermis. The main type of cells which make up the epidermis are keratinocytes, with melanocytes and Langerhans cells also present. The epidermis can be further subdivided into the following strata (beginning with the outermost layer): corneum, lucidum, granulosum, spinosum, basale. Cells are formed through mitosis at the innermost layers. They move up the strata changing shape and composition as they differentiate, inducing expression of new types of keratin genes. They eventually reach the corneum and become sloughed off (desquamation). This process is called keratinization and takes place within about 30 days. This layer of skin is responsible for keeping water in the body and keeping other harmful chemicals and pathogens out.
Skin can be dividided into thick and thin types. Thick skin is present on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. It has a larger stratum corneum with a higher keratin content. Thick skin does not grow hair; its purpose is to help grip. Thin skin is present on the bulk of the body and has a smaller stratum corneum and fewer papillae ridges. It has hair and is softer and more elastic. The characteristics of the skin, including sensory nerve density and the type of hair, vary with location on the body.
In fact, skin care and protection should be an essential part of your health, fitness, and beauty regime. If you take care of your skin, your skin will take care of you! If your stuck in a skin care rut, or if you are just looking to learn a bit more about the basics of skin care, read on to learn more about this important step in your daily activities.
The first step to taking care of your skin is preventing damage. Sun, wind, pollutants, and simply aging can degrade the condition of your skin. Common complaints include dry and itchy skin, wrinkles, sagging, color changes, and age spots. There are steps that you can take to keep you skin looking and feeling its best.