Ah, skin. That seemingly inconsequential barrier between your insides and the outside world. Whether soft, furry, or spotted, skin is a lot more than just pretty wrapping paper. It is our largest organ. That’s why we’re celebrating National Healthy Skin Month this November by sharing some epic facts about your epidermis (dermis and subcutis, too).
- Daily application of a broad-spectrum sunscreen (at least SPF 15) will protect you from harmful and damaging UVA and UVB rays – which cause everything from cancer to premature aging.
- It’s recommended that you start seeing a dermatologist with your regular yearly physical between the ages of 25 and 30. Hint: Make it easy to remember by scheduling your appointment around your birthday.
- In addition to keeping your skin clean and moisturized, keep an eye out for any noticeable changes to your skin’s color or texture. Skin cancer is more common than all other forms of cancer combined.
- Your skin is your first (and best) defense against, well, everything. In addition to waterproofing and insulation, it protects your sensitive tissues from extreme temperatures, dangerous UV rays and harmful chemicals.
- Believe it or not, your skin is made out of the same thing as a snake’s scales: a tough protein called keratin. And, when seen under a microscope, your skin looks a lot like a snake’s scales, too – layers and layers of microscopic skin cells.
- Speaking of which, your skin is made up of three distinct layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutis.
- The epidermis consists of layers of microscopic keratin cells (keratinocytes) that are constantly being generated and shed. On average, you’ll shed 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells every minute, meaning your skin is completely renewed every 28 days.
- Collagen and elastin fibers are what give the dermis its structure and elasticity. Blood vessels that crisscross this layer help you regulate your body temperature, while nerve fibers and receptors send the feelings of touch, heat, and pain to your brain.
- The subcutis is a layer of padding and security. Here, your body stores emergency energy supplies in the form of fat. This fatty layer also serves as protection for your delicate internal organs in the case of falls or trauma.
- The average adult has about 21 square feet of skin made up of 300 million skin cells. It accounts for about 15% of your body weight and contains more than 11 miles of blood vessels.
- Generally, your skin is thickest on the soles of your feet (1.4mm) and thinnest on your eyelids (.2mm).
- A single square inch of skin has about 19 million cells and up to 300 sweat glands.
- All told, your skin is home to more than 1,000 species of bacteria.
Sure, it may be what’s inside that counts, but that doesn’t mean what’s outside doesn’t deserve some attention, too. For collaborative, convenient, compassionate skin care, make your appointment with a Forefront Dermatology physician today. Visit the Locations page today.