Some curiosities about the skin

The skin is the largest organ of all vertebrates.

Its main functions are:

  • Protective (in terrestrial vertebrates it protects from drying out as well).

  • Sensitive or sensory:  perception of pressure, temperature, vibration…

  • Excretory: elimination of waste substances.

  • In some vertebrates it also participates in thermoregulation and water balance through sweating and vasodilatation-vasoconstriction. For example, when it is hot, the vessels dilate so that heat is lost through the blood and vice versa.

Miscroscopic view of the dermis and epidermis.

In all of vertebrates the skin always consists of 2 tunics:

  • Epidermis: this is the outermost layer, formed by a lining  epithelium (layer of cells), which it is different according to the group of vertebrates.

  • Dermis: always formed by connective tissue (set of  filling, supporting and connecting tissues).

In some body regions of mammals another deeper tunic may also appear > the hypodermis, formed by lax connective tissue (which also provides flexibility) and adipose tissue (fat).

Diagram of the different structures located in the skin. Skincare


The skin of an adult human measures about 1.5-2m² and weighs about 4 kg.

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