The Layers of The Skin.
The human body isn’t hollow. Your organs do not sit in it any which way and they are not hanging haphazardly from their respective connective tissues. You have an intricate system of supporting structures, fluids and more, all working hard to keep everything where it is supposed to be. Most people know very little about what it’s like just under their skin and so the purpose of this article is to explain in brief the layers of the body and a few of their most common ailments, as well as explain what’s going on in the inner most spaces where your organs and other body systems are found.
The first layer is of course the skin, often broken down into three distinct layers, they are in order; the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. The reason they are separated is because each layer has its own unique role in the overall objective of the skin which is protecting the body.
The epidermis is the top layer of your skin and serves as a direct barrier between your body and the outside world. It also serves to keep you hydrated and produces new skin cells as well as storing melanin, the natural pigment your body produces to dictate the color of skin, eyes, and hair. Some of the most common injuries to this layer are normal sun burns, skin peeling, and rashes although some rashes like eczema may affect deeper levels as well.
The dermis can be thought of as the middle layer of the skin. This is where hair follicles are found. This layer also houses many of the blood vessels and the glands that produce sweat, which is slightly acidic and used by your body to cool down, hydrate the skin, as well as kill off surface pathogens. It also is the layer responsible for detecting sensation. A few common ailments for this layer are shallow cuts or lesions, ingrown hairs, scars and stretch marks.
The hypodermis is the lowest level of the skin, and its main jobs are to connect your dermis to the muscle tissue below it, insulate your body from the temperature outside, and store energy in the form of fat. Hypodermis thickness differs across your body. Fatty tissue amasses in different parts of your body according to hormones and genetics. If you have a higher amount of testosterone in your body, your hypodermis is thickest in your abdomen, arms, lower back, and shoulders. If you have a higher amount of estrogen in your body, your hypodermis is thickest in your butt, hips, and thighs.
Some common afflictions to this area are third degree burns, and “full thickness” wounds or wounds that damage all layers of skin down to the muscle tissue beneath. Usually, damage to this layer of skin is quite serious and will require medical care.
Below the skin is the fascia, a type of connective tissue found throughout the body. This acts as both a binder and a separator between the hypodermis and the muscle tissue below it. It is aided by deeper connective tissue. The two work closely together to keep everything where it belongs and stuck together so your skin doesn’t slip and slide across your muscles as you move. Injuries that affect this deep are often piercing, cutting, or crushing damage usually from an accident of some kind, although it is thought that some over active immune systems can target this area in autoimmune disorders.
There is a structure and organization to your body beyond what you can see. Everything in your body has a place and a reason for being there. Knowing the what’s and whys will help you recognize problems as they happen and get treatment before it escalates. With massage and acupuncture you are given a less invasive and powerful first step towards treatment of an ailment without the harmful side effects and long waiting periods. Call or text today to find out what we can do for you. (808) – 489 – 4272.