The Anatomy of Skin
Editor’s Note: The following information was submitted by Murray R, Vancouver, British Columbia.
A little info on skin. Your skin is the largest organ on your body, made up of several different components, including water, protein, lipids, and different minerals and chemicals. If you’re average, your skin weighs about six pounds. It’s job is crucial: to protect you from infections and germs. Throughout your life, your skin will change constantly, for better or worse.
Skin grows really fast. Here are some cool facts about your skin and how it grows:
❋ You have a ton of skin cells. There are about 19 million skin cells in every inch of your body.
❋ New skin cells replace old ones. Your body is always making new skin cells and getting rid of old ones. Your body gets rid of 30,000 to 40,000 old skin cells every day! The skin you see now will be gone in about a month.
❋ Dead skin cells are on top. The top 18 to 23 layers of your skin are made of dead cells.
❋ New skin cells form at the bottom of the epidermis, which is the top part of your skin.
❋ Skin cells change shape. They start off kind of fat and square. Over time, they move to the top of the epidermis, flattening out as they go. When they get to the top, they flake off.
In 1 inch of skin, you have about:
❋ 650 sweat glands
❋ 20 blood vessels
❋ 60,000 melanocytes (the stuff that makes melanin and gives your skin its color.)
❋ 1,000 or more nerve endings