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.
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The membranous protective covering of the body, consisting of the epidermis and corium (dermis). SYN: cutis [TA]. [A.S. scinn]
- alligator s. SYN: ichthyosis.
- bronzed s. the dark s. in Addison disease.
- deciduous s. SYN: keratolysis (2).
- elastic s. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
- 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..
- hidden nail s. SYN: eponychium (2).
- 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.
- pig s. soft s. in which follicles are widely dilated; seen in pretibial myxedema.
- 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.
- s. of teeth SYN: enamel cuticle.
- 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.
- yellow s. 1. SYN: xanthochromia. 2. SYN: xanthoderma (2).

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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
skin vt, skinned; skin·ning to cut or scrape the skin of <fell and skinned his knee>

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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.

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(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.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • skin — [skin] n. [ME skinn < ON, akin to Ger schinden, to flay, peel < IE * (s)ken(d) , to split off (< base * sek , to cut: see SAW1) > OIr ceinn, a scale, scurf] 1. the outer covering or integument of the animal body 2. such a covering,… …   English World dictionary

  • skin — n Skin, hide, pelt, rind, bark, peel can all denote an outer removable coat which adheres to and protects the inner tissues of a body or organism. Skin, the most general term, applies especially to the outer covering of animals, whether it is as… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Skin — Skin, n. [Icel. skinn; akin to Sw. skinn, Dan. skind, AS. scinn, G. schined to skin.] 1. (Anat.) The external membranous integument of an animal. [1913 Webster] Note: In man, and the vertebrates generally, the skin consist of two layers, an outer …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • skin — ► NOUN 1) the thin layer of tissue forming the natural outer covering of the body of a person or animal. 2) the skin of a dead animal used as material for clothing or other items. 3) the peel or outer layer of a fruit or vegetable. 4) an outer… …   English terms dictionary

  • Skin — (englisch für „Haut“ oder „Verkleidung“) steht für: Skin (Computer), eine Einstellungsdatei für Computerprogramme, die das Erscheinungsbild der Bedienungsoberfläche (GUI) festlegt den Künstlernamen der britischen Sängerin Deborah Anne Dyer (Skunk …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Skin — Skin, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Skinned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Skinning}.] 1. To strip off the skin or hide of; to flay; to peel; as, to skin an animal. [1913 Webster] 2. To cover with skin, or as with skin; hence, to cover superficially. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Skin — tiene varias entradas: El grupo musical japonés de nombre S.K.I.N. El grupo de rock Skin de Caracas Venezuela. La canción Skin de la cantante Madonna. El apócope de skinhead término inglés para el movimiento obrero también conocido como cabezas… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Skin — o skin head (ingl.; pronunc. [esquín] o [esquín jéd]; pl. «skins» o «skin heads») n. Cabeza rapada. * * * A la madre Nat y su hijo Dagr se les dieron carros engalanados con piedras preciosas para que conduzcan alrededor de la Tierra, uno detrás… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Skin — Skin, v. i. 1. To become covered with skin; as, a wound skins over. [1913 Webster] 2. To produce, in recitation, examination, etc., the work of another for one s own, or to use in such exercise cribs, memeoranda, etc., which are prohibited.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • skin up — (slang) To make a marijuana joint (see the corresponding sense of the n above) • • • Main Entry: ↑skin * * * ˌskin ˈup derived (BrE, informal) to make a cigarette containing ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Skin — der; s, s <zu engl. skin »Haut«> Kurzform von ↑Skinhead …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

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