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Histology of the skin - Term Paper Example

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This is so because it is the body’s first structure of defense against diseases. A healthy skin has certain characteristics; it is soft, moist, and flexible with a smooth fine texture. A healthy skin also is…
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Histology of the skin
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Download file to see previous pages Continued pressure on the skin may cause it to thicken. The appendages of the skin include the nails, hair, sweat gland, and oil glands (Milady 220).
The skin is grouped into two main divisions namely the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis also known as cuticle is the outermost layer of the skin. Its main purpose is to offer protection to the body. It is the thinnest layer and contains no blood vessels but has numerous small nerve endings. The layer is divided into five sub-layers namely the stratum corneum, stratum lucidum, stratum granulosum, and stratum spinosum and stratum germinativum (Milady 220). Stratum corneum or horny layer is the outermost layer of the epidermis. It is composed of packed scale-like cells, which are usually shed off and replaced by other new cells coming to the surface from the layers beneath it. The cells are made up of chemical proteins known as Keratin, which mixes with sebum, a thin layer of oil, to aid in protecting and waterproofing the horny layer (Milady 220). The stratum lucidum also known as clear layer lies underneath the horny layer. It consists of small transparent cells through which rays from the sun pass. The stratum granulosum or granular layer consists of a group of cells that resembles granules. The cells are usually dead and are normally pushed to the surface to substitute the cells that have been shed from the stratum corneum (Busam, and Goldblum 2). The stratum spinosum or spiny layer is a sub-layer and usually lies above the basal stratum and beneath stratum granulosum. Milady (220) notes that it is in the stratum spinosum that the process that causes skin cells to shed starts. The stratum germinativum, malpighian, or basal cell layer is part of the epidermis found deepest. It consists of a dark pigment known as melanin that protects the skin from ultraviolet rays of the sun. It is also responsible for development of the epidermis (Milady 220).
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