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The Layers of the Skin and Their Functions

by Plasma Pen UKApr 22,2024Plasma Pen™ Advice

The Layers of the Skin and Their Functions

The skin is the largest organ in the body, and it’s often seen as being a single entity. But, there are actually multiple layers of skin that work together to create a protective barrier. Each of these layers is different, with a different purpose. In this blog, we have taken a look at the layers of the skin and their functions.

The Many Different Layers of Skin and What They Do


The Cutaneous Membrane

The technical term for our skin is the cutaneous membrane, which is made up of three key layers; the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis. The skin’s main function is to protect the underlying tissues and organs from damage, and it acts as a barrier. This damage could be caused by a variety of external factors such as trauma, temperature changes, radiation, chemicals and microorganisms.


The outermost layer, known as the epidermis, acts as a protective shield. It prevents the entry of harmful substances and microorganisms into the body. Beneath the epidermis is the dermis, which contains vital structures such as blood vessels, nerves and hair follicles. The hypodermis is the deepest layer of the skin, and it provides insulation and serves as a reserve energy source. Together, these layers form the cutaneous membrane.


The Epidermis

The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin that’s visible, the part of the skin that can be seen to us with the naked eye. It plays a key part in touch sensation and protecting the body from harmful microorganisms. This protective barrier consists of five distinct sublayers, each with its own unique functions.


  • Stratum Corneum – This sublayer is composed of dead skin cells, and it forms a protective barrier that helps to repel water and prevent dehydration.


  • Stratum Lucidum – This layer is only present on the palms of hands, fingertips and soles of the feet. It provides additional thickness and durability to areas subjected to frequent pressure and friction.


  • Stratum Granulosum – This is where keratin production happens, which serves as the primary structural component of the skin, hair and nails.


  • Stratum Spinosum – Responsible for providing the skin with strength and flexibility, this layer consists of cells that are packed close together, which help to keep tissue strong and flexible.


  • Stratum Basale – As the deepest layer of the epidermis, the stratum basale is where keratinocytes are formed. These cells continuously divide and migrate towards the surface of the skin, where they eventually shed as dead skin cells.


The Dermis

The dermis is the layer of skin found directly beneath the epidermis. It is composed of connective tissue, blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles, sweat glands and collagen. The dermis provides support and elasticity to the skin, giving it strength and resilience. It contains collagen and elastin fibers, which are responsible for maintaining the skin’s structure and flexibility.

Nerve endings in the dermis are responsible for sensations such as touch, pressure, pain and temperature; it plays a big part in regulating body temperature.


The Hypodermis

The hypodermis – also known as subcutaneous tissue – is the deepest layer of the skin, located beneath the dermis. It consists primarily of fat tissue, connective tissue and blood vessels. The hypodermis acts as a thermal insulator, helping to regulate body temperature by providing a layer of insulation. It also provides cushioning and protection to the underlying structures of the body, such as muscles and bones, helping to absorb shock and impact that comes with day-to-day life. The blood vessels in the hypodermis supply oxygen and nutrients to the skin and underlying tissues.

How Ageing Changes the Different Layers of Skin

As is the case with all parts of the body, ageing impacts the different layers of skin, and it does so in various ways.


  • Reduced Elasticity – With age, the production of collagen and elastin fibres in the dermis decreases, leading to a loss of elasticity and firmness in the skin. This results in sagging and the appearance of wrinkles. This is most noticeable in areas that are moved around a lot as facial expressions change, such as around the eyes and mouth.


  • Thinning – The epidermis becomes thinner as we age, making the skin more fragile and prone to injury. This thinning is due to a decrease in the production of natural moisturising factors, leading to dry and rougher skin.


  • Decreased Hydration – Ageing skin tends to become drier as it produces less oil, resulting in decreased hydration and a lack of moisture. This can lead to a dull looking skin and a proneness to inflammation.


  • Hyperpigmentation – Over time, sun exposure and environmental damage can lead to the development of hyperpigmentation on the skin. This includes age spots, sun spots and uneven skin tone.


  • Loss of Fat – The hypodermis layer of the skin becomes thinner with age, resulting in a loss of volume. This can lead to a hollowed appearance, particularly in the cheeks and around the eyes, and can contribute to the formation of deep wrinkles.


As you can see, despite there being multiple layers to the skin, it’s not immune to the effects of ageing, and the signs of getting older are sure to show. This is where Plasma Pen comes in. Plasma Pen helps to keep skin looking its best, combating the common signs of ageing – such as fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and hyperpigmentation – and ensuring that the surface of the skin remains supple, tight and youthful looking.


With PlasmaPen, and the wide range of treatments that it’s capable of, keeping skin looking refreshed and rejuvenated is simple. To find out more about how Plasma Pen works, get in touch with our knowledgeable team of experts.



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