- The skin is the body's outer covering. It protects us against heat and light, injury, and infection. It regulates body temperature and stores water, fat, and vitamin D. Weighing about 6 pounds, the skin is the body's largest organ. It is made up of two main layers; the outer epidermis and the inner dermis. The epidermis (outer layer of the skin) is mostly made up of flat, scale-like cells called squamous cells. Under the squamous cells are round cells called basal cells. The deepest part of the epidermis also contains melanocytes. These cells produce melanin, which gives the skin its color. The dermis (inner layer of skin) contains blood and lymph vessels, hair follicles, and glands. These glands produce sweat, which helps regulate body temperature, and sebum, an oily substance that helps keep the skin from drying out. Sweat and sebum reach the skin's surface through tiny openings called pores.
* * *The membranous protective covering of the body, consisting of the epidermis and corium (dermis). SYN: cutis [TA]. [A.S. scinn]- alligator s. SYN: ichthyosis.- farmer's s. dry, wrinkled s. with presence of dry premalignant keratoses; observed most commonly in fair-skinned, blue-eyed persons who are exposed by occupation or sport to sunshine for prolonged periods and over many years. SYN: golfer's s., sailor's s..- fish s. SYN: ichthyosis.- glabrous s. s. that is normally devoid of hair.- glossy s. shiny atrophy of the s., usually of the hands, following nerve injury; a type of neurotrophic atrophy. SYN: atrophoderma neuriticum.- golfer's s. SYN: farmer's s..- loose s. SYN: dermatochalasis.- parchment s. parchmentlike appearance of the s. caused by loss of underlying connective and elastic tissue, or by the relatively rapid and persistent loss of water from the horny layer.- piebald s. SYN: piebaldism.- porcupine s. SYN: epidermolytic hyperkeratosis.- sailor's s. SYN: farmer's s..- shagreen s. an oval-shaped, elevated nevoid plaque, s.-colored or occasionally pigmented, smooth or crinkled, appearing on the trunk or lower back in early childhood; sometimes seen with other signs of tuberous sclerosis. SYN: shagreen patch.- thick s. s. from the palms and soles, so named because of its relatively thick epidermis.- thin s. s. from areas of the body other than the palms and soles, so named because of its relatively thin epidermis.- toad s. SYN: phrynoderma.
* * *skin 'skin n the 2-layered covering of the body consisting of an outer ectodermal epidermis that is more or less cornified and penetrated by the openings of sweat and sebaceous glands and an inner mesodermal dermis that is composed largely of connective tissue and is richly supplied with blood vessels and nerves
* * *n.the outer covering of the body, consisting of an outer layer, the epidermis, and an inner layer, the dermis. Beneath the dermis is a layer of fatty tissue. The skin has several functions. The epidermis protects the body from injury and also from invasion by parasites. It also helps to prevent the body from becoming dehydrated. The combination of erectile hairs, sweat gland, and blood capillaries in the skin form part of the temperature-regulating mechanism of the body. When the body is too hot, loss of heat is increased by sweating and by the dilation of the capillaries. When the body is too cold the sweat glands are inactive, the capillaries contract, and a layer of air is trapped over the epidermis by the erected hairs. The skin also acts as an organ of excretion (by the secretion of sweat) and as a sense organ (it contains receptors that are sensitive to heat, cold, touch, and pain). The layer of fat that lies underneath the dermis can act as a reservoir of food and water. Anatomical name: cutis.
* * *(skin) the outer integument or covering of the body, consisting of the dermis and epidermis, and resting upon the subcutaneous tissue; called also cutis [TA]. See illustration.
Diagram of a cross-section of the skin.
Medical dictionary. 2011.