The epidermis can be broken down to a further 5 layers.

  1. Stratum basale, also known as the basal cell layer.
  2. Is the innermost layer of the epidermis.
  3. Contains column-shaped basal cells that are constantly dividing and being pushed toward the surface.
  4. Home to melanocytes that produce melanin (the pigment responsible for skin colour). When exposed to the sunlight, melanocytes produce more melanin to better protect the skin from UV exposure.
    1. Abnormalities in the development of these cells can lead to melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer and other pigmented and non-pigmented lesions/spots.
  5. Stratum spinosum also referred to as the squamous cell layer.
  6. Is the thickest layer of the epidermis located just above the basal layer.
  7. Consists of basal cells that have matured into keratinocytes, which are responsible for producing keratin.
  8. Stratum granulosum
  9. Is made up of keratinocytes that have moved up from the squamous layer.

  1. Stratum lucidum 
  2. This thick clear layer only exists on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

  1. Stratum corneum is the outermost layer of the epidermis.
  2. It is the layer of the skin that is exposed to the outside environment.
  3. Constant shedding occurs at this layer which is referred to as Desquamation.  
  4. Various cosmetic treatments, such as peels, assist in the desquamation process.

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