SKIN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY
The skin is the body's largest organ, and it serves as a protective barrier. Its health and surface appearance are determined by environmental factors as well as the function of the components that comprise the layers below.
Choose one skin type or skin condition to explore the physiological attributes.
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BLOOD VESSELS
A network of blood vessels is found in the dermis and subcutaneous layer. These vessels supply the skin with oxygen and nutrients. The blood vessels play a role in regulating body temperature.
Dilated blood vessels become visible, and are the source of skin redness.
Capillaries and other vessels dilate.
BLOOD VESSELS
EPIDERMIS
Outer layer of skin that acts as a barrier between the body and the environment. Stratum corneum, uppermost layer, is made up of corneocytes (flat, dead skin cells) forming skin’s barrier. Basal layer, bottom layer, is where pigment is produced.
The epidermis sheds at a normal rate. Melanocytes produce a balanced amount of pigment.
The uppermost layer thickens, causing cells to stick together and clog pores.
The uppermost layer is thin and jagged due to lack of hydration. Cells shed inefficiently, sticking to each other and preventing new skin cells from reaching the skin's surface.
The uppermost layer is thin and jagged due to lack of water in certain areas of the face.
The skin's surface is red and uncomfortable. Nerve endings are inflamed.
Surface cells shed more slowly, causing dullness.
Inefficient desquamation (cell shedding) leads to clogged pores.
Melanocytes overproduce melanin at the very bottom of the epidermis. At the top of the epidermis overproduction of melanin leads to dark spots on skin’s surface.
Surface cells shed more slowly, causing dullness. The uppermost layer is thin and jagged due to lack of water.
Nerve endings are over stimulated. Capillaries dilate, causing skin redness. Rosacea can lead to acne-like lesions on the surface of the skin.
The skin's surface becomes red and irritated.
EPIDERMIS
DERMIS
The middle layer of the skin housing nerves, glands, essential proteins, enzymes, and blood cells, making it the skin’s “operations” center. Contains collagen and elastin which provide support and structure to skin.
Healthy collagen and elastin provide a sound, elastic support structure.
Nerve endings are inflamed.
Skin's metabolism slows down, affecting the production of integral cell types.
Nerve endings are over stimulated. Capillaries dilate, causing skin redness.
DERMIS
HYPODERMIS
Lies below the epidermis and dermis and comprised mainly of fat, blood vessels, and nerves. This layer acts as a cushion that also insulates the body.
HYPODERMIS
SEBACEOUS GLANDS
Located at the root of the hair follicles, these glands produce oil. This oil, or sebum, lubricates and waterproofs the skin and hair. Sebaceous glands are present everywhere except the palms and soles of the feet.
Sebaceous glands secrete enough oil to hydrate skin without oiliness.
Sebaceous glands are enlarged due to overproduction of oil.
Oil glands do not produce enough out to lubricate the skin.
Sebaceous glands are enlarged due to overproduction of oil.
Oil production slows with age, leading to increased dryness.
Sebaceous glands are enlarged due to overproduction of oil.
Sebaceous glands may be over productive, leading to oiliness.
Sebaceous glands may produce less sebum after in-office treatments.
SEBACEOUS GLANDS
ELASTIN
Elastin is an essential protein that gives skin the ability to “bounce back” after stretching. The breakdown of elastin leads to sagging skin. Sun exposure and repeated facial expressions damage elastin.
As elastin breaks down over time, skin loses its firmness and ability to "bounce back".
ELASTIN
COLLAGEN
An essential protein that lends support to skin and gives it structure. It is one of the “building blocks” of skin’s foundation. The breakdown of collagen leads to fine lines and wrinkles. Sun exposure is the number-one cause of collagen damage.
As collagen degrades and natural production shows, the skin's underlying support structure weakens and wrinkling occurs.
COLLAGEN
DERMAL EPIDERMAL JUNCTION
The DEJ connects the dermis and epidermis. The DEJ is home to a network of blood vessels that pass nutrients from the dermis to the epidermis. The DEJ thins with age, making the skin more prone to sagging.
The DEJ thins with age, making the skin more prone to sagging.
DERMAL EPIDERMAL JUNCTION
SEBUM
This oil-Overviewike substance is produced by the sebaceous glands. Sebum helps waterproof the skin. Sebum forms a film on skin that keeps water in and irritants out.
This oil hydrates the skin and forms a protective film.
An abundance of sebum lends a shiny or greasy appearance to the skin.
A lack of sebum compromises the skin's barrier and leads to dryness.
An uneven distribution of sebum leads to dryness in some areas and oiliness in others.
Follicles become clogged with dead cells, oil and debris.
Skin dehydration can cause overproduction of sebum as a result of oil being stripped from the skin.
Sebum production can be reduced by certain procedures, leaving skin dry.
SEBUM
BLOOD VESSELS
EPIDERMIS
DERMIS
HYPODERMIS
SEBACEOUS GLANDS
ELASTIN
COLLAGEN
DERMAL EPIDERMAL JUNCTION
SEBUM