how is the skin made? | Stages of a Skin Journey
Knowing what skin is made is the first step in learning how to treat it well, to keep it beautiful and healthy.
Just as food education plays a fundamental role in the adoption of a dietary regime aimed at maintaining a state of health and well-being, in the same way, a short TUTORIAL on the structure and functions of the skin is indispensable in learning good practices for proper skin care.
Understanding the needs of the skin will guide you towards an informed choice of the best products for hygiene, hydration and protection.
The skin is a complex organ that covers the entire surface of the human body. You cannot neglect the largest organ of your body!
The skin is made up of 3 MAIN LAYERS:
1) EPIDERMIS -> outer layer
2) DERMAS -> middle layer – highly vascularized, crossed by the lymphatic network and nerve endings, houses the sweat and sebaceous glands and the hair bulbs
3) HYPODERMIS -> deepest layer – a subcutaneous fat layer rich in connective tissue (the amount of fat cells varies according to nutrition, sex and hormonal status)
To familiarize yourself with the structure of the epidermis you can rely on the keratinocytes (the most numerous cells) and follow their life cycle which is articulated through the 5 epidermal layers:
⇒ BASAL LAYER
The lower layer, in contact with the underlying dermis, is also called GERMINAL because it welcomes cell reproduction. Stem cells are born in this layer, i.e. those that give rise to keratinocytes, which in turn, by means of cell division, gradually move towards the outermost layer thus contributing to cell turnover.
⇒ STRATUM SPINOSO or “del MALPIGHI“
[name of the anatomist Marcello Malpighi (1627-1694) who identified it]
More voluminous layer composed of various rows of keratinocytes firmly joined together thanks to the protrusions of the same – anchoring protuberances similar to thorns (hence the name “thorny”). This layer plays a decisive role in the immune response of the tissue, in fact, valuable constituents for the epidermal barrier are secreted inside, such as lipids and glycoproteins.
Layer populated by cells rich in Keratohyalin granules (hence the name of the layer itself). Here are the cells still alive before the transition to the stratum corneum, those responsible for the keratinization process and programmed cell death (apoptosis).
⇒ GLOSSY LAYER
More compact and reflective layer (thanks to the brightness of its cells), found only in some parts of the body (such as the palm of the hand and the sole of the foot). In this layer the keratinocytes approach the terminal phase by losing their nucleus.
⇒ STRATUM CORNEUM
In the stratum corneum the keratinocytes reach the maximum flattening. Rich in soft keratin, the cells present in this layer give greater mechanical resistance to the skin and participate in the formation of a hydrophobic protective barrier. The permanence of keratinocytes on the surface decreases according to age, therefore in a young organism the flaking, also known as “desquamation”, occurs at closer intervals (on average 28 days), while in old age the cell turnover is slower and must be stimulated to facilitate turnover.
THE 3 MAIN FUNCTIONS OF THE SKIN
What tasks does the skin envelope that surrounds our body perform? Why is it vital to preserve the integrity of this precious organ?
The main functions of the skin are:
1) Act as a PROTECTIVE BARRIER
The skin has the important task of protecting both the body and internal organs from infections, acting as a barrier to germs that can cause disease. Thanks to the properties of its stratum corneum, it prevents the penetration of substances and pathogens. Due to the sebaceous secretion and sweat, it has a strong bactericidal power, as well as promoting thermoregulation of the entire body.
2) Offer HIGH IMPERMEABILITY to many substances, especially water-soluble ones.
3)NEUTRALIZE THE HARMFUL EFFECTS of substances with acidity or alkalinity very different from the norm through a suitable immune reaction.
The performance of these functions is ensured by a complex skin ecosystem characterized by a resident flora and a transitory flora.
The SKIN MICROBIOME: Balance vs Alterations
What are the microorganisms that live permanently and temporarily in the skin?
The microorganisms that populate the skin microbiome are many and varied, they are divided into “good and bad”. There is no exact formula capable of defining the ideal microbiome, because each individual has its own specific microbiome (which also varies according to the different if body areas of the same subject), but there is a universally valid rule for the health of all microbiomes: keep the skin flora well balanced.
The skin ecosystem is made up of:
⇒ RESIDENT FLORA
Localized in the deep skin layers, therefore more resistant to removal (antiseptics are not very effective in this case), and made up of aerobic Gram positive (Staphilococcus epidermidis, Coagulase) and Negative (Corynebacteri) bacteria
⇒ TRANSITIONAL FLORA
Present in the superficial skin layer and easily removable with routine skin washing (antiseptic products are particularly effective in this case), it consists of Gram negative (Klebsiella, Psedomonas) and Gram positive (Staphilococcus aureus, Streptococcus) bacteria.
Every journey is a master, the stages of the “skin journey” teach what skin is like and how to love it, Derma Health helps you do it in the best way.