How thick is your skin

Skin: The Histology Guide

Skin functions and Layers

Some facts about skin

  • Skin is the largest organ of the body.
  • It has an area of 2 square metres (22 square feet) in adults, and weighs about 5 kilograms.
  • The thickness of skin varies from 0.5mm thick on the eyelids to 4.0mm thick on the heels of your feet.
  • Skin is the major barrier between the inside and outside of your body!

Functions of skin

  1. Protection: it protects against UV light, mechanical, thermal and chemical stresses, dehydration and invasion by micro-organisms.
  2. Sensation: skin has receptors that sense touch, pressure, pain and temperature.
  3. Thermoregulation: various features of the skin are involved in regulating temperature of the body. For example sweat glands, hair, and adipose tissue.
  4. Metabolic functions: subcutaneous adipose tissue is involved in production of vitamin D, and triglycerides.

This diagram shows the layers found in skin. There are three main layers: the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. There are also sweat glands, and hairs, which have sebaceous glands, and a smooth muscle called the arrector pili muscle, associated with them.

Hairs are only found in thin skin, and not in the thick skin present on the fingertips, palms and soles of your feet.

Three layers of skin:

The epidermis: a thin outer portion, that is the keratinised stratified squamous epithelium of skin. The epidermis is important for the protective function of skin. The basal layers of this epithelium are folded to form dermal papillae. Thin skin contains four types of cellular layers, and thick skin contains five. Click here to find out more about the epidermis and its layers.

The dermis: a thicker inner portion. This is the connective tissue layer of skin. It is important for sensation, protection and thermoregulation. It contains nerves, the blood supply, fibroblasts, etc, as well as sweat glands, which open out onto the surface of the skin, and in some regions, hair. The apical layers of the dermis are folded, to form dermal papillae, which are particularly prominent in thick skin.

The hypodermis. This layer is underneath the dermis, and merges with it. It mainly contains adipose tissue and sweat glands. The adipose tissue has metabolic functions: it is resonsible for production of vitamin D, and triglycerides.

This is an H&E section of thick skin. The outer layers of skin are towards the top. See if you can identify the epidermis, dermis, dermal papillae and sweat glands. Notice that there are no hairs in this region.

Dermal Papillae

The photograph opposite shows a section through thick skin. Thick skin like this is only found in areas where there is a lot of abrasion - such as palms, fingertips, and soles of your feet. Why do you think this is?

You should notice that the dermis extends up into the epidermis in structures called dermal papillae. These have two functions.

First, they help adhesion between the dermal and epidermal layers.

Second, in areas of thick skin like this, they provide a large surface area, to nourish the epidermal layer.

Don't forget the epidermis is a stratified squamous epithelium, so it does not have its own blood supply. It relies solely on the blood supply from the dermis.

The Dermis and Hypodermis

The dermis is a connective tissue layer, that contains collagen and elastin fibres, and fibroblasts, macrophages and adipocytes, as well as nerves, glands and hair follicles. The dermis is tough, and is the layer used to make leather.

It can be divided into two regions:

superficial region - (papillary dermis) the region around the dermal papillae, which makes up around 20% of the dermis. This layer contains loose connective tissue, and it has many capillaries. It extends up into the epidermis in small projections called dermal papillae. This region also contains Meissners corpuscles, which are touch receptors, as well as free nerve endings (non-myelinated) that are sensitive to temperature.

deeper region - (reticular dermis) this is a layer of dense irregular connective tissue, which contains collagen and elastin, which give skin its strength and extensibility. The collagen bundles are woven into a coarse network. This layer contains fibroblasts, macrophages and fat cells.

The sweat glands are found deep in this region and in the hypodermis.

Can you see the two regions of the dermis in the picture above?

The hypodermis lies under the dermis, and mainly contains adipose tissue.

This diagram shows the blood supply of skin.

The circulation of skin

The arteries supplying the skin are deep in the hypdermis. Branches from the arteries pass upwards to form a deep and a superficial plexus.

The deep cutaneous plexus is at the dermal/hypodermal junction. It supplies the fatty tissue of the hypodermis, and the deeper parts of the dermis, including the capillaries for hair follicles, deep sebaceous glands and sweat glands.

The superficial subpapillary plexus lies just beneath the dermal papillae, and supplies the capillaries in the dermal papillae. The pink colour of skin is mainly due to the blood seen in venules of this plexus.

There are many arteriovenous anastomoses in the dermis, which can prevent blood from entering the superficial cutaneous plexus. This strategy is used as a response to cold as a way of conserving heat. The danger is that if the epidermis loses its blood supply for too long, it will die (frostbite!).

Alternatively, when it is hot, more blood is allowed into the superficial plexus, and the skin flushes. The blood in the superficial capillaries is cooled by the evaporation of sweat of the surface of skin.

Thin skin vs. thick skin: What is the difference?

Skin is the largest and heaviest organ of the body. It consists of three main layers; the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. Skin can either be thin or thick. The main difference is the thickness of the epidermis and dermis, which are the top two layers of skin.

Thin skin covers most of the body and can vary in thinness, with the thinnest skin covering the eyelids. Thick skin is present on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands.

In addition to differing thicknesses, the skin also differs in what is present in the layers. For example, thick skin has no hair follicles or sebaceous glands, whereas thin skin does.

In this article, we look at the differences in appearance, structure, and function of thin and thick skin.

Thin skin covers most of the body, except on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands, and contains fewer cellular layers than thick skin.

The epidermis of thin skin ranges from 0.07–0.15 millimeters (mm). Thin skin can vary in thickness in different parts of the body and is particularly thin across the eyelids. Thin skin is thickest on the upper back.

Thin skin also contains hair follicles, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands.

Thick skin is present on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands. This is because these areas receive more friction than other areas of the body, and thicker skin helps to protect from potential damage.

The epidermis of thick skin can be up to 1.5 mm. Thick skin does not contain any hair follicles or sebaceous glands. Thick skin also contains no arrector pili muscles, which cause goosebumps.

Thick skin is thicker due to it containing an extra layer in the epidermis, called the stratum lucidum. Thick skin actually has a thinner dermis layer than thin skin, but is still thicker due to the stratum lucidum layer present in the epidermis.

Thick and thin skin appear differently under a microscope. Thin skin contains four layers in the epidermis, while thick skin contains a fifth layer. These layers include:

Stratum basale

The stratum basale, also known as the stratum germinativum, is the deepest layer of the epidermis. It is the layer just above the dermis.

This layer continuously produces new skin cells. It also contains melanocytes, which are cells that produce skin pigment and help protect the skin from sun damage.

Stratum spinosum

The stratum spinosum consists of eight to ten layers of cells. People may refer to the stratum spinosum as the prickle cell layer because of the irregular structure of cells, which look like spines or prickles.

Stratum granulosum

The stratum granulosum consists of three to five layers of cells. The stratum granulosum contains granules, which are rich in lipids.

Stratum lucidum

Only thick skin contains the stratum lucidum layer. The stratum lucidum is a thin, transparent layer consisting of two to three layers of cells. It contains a protein called eleidin.

Stratum corneum

The stratum corneum is the upper layer of the epidermis. It consists of 20–30 layers of cells. It contains keratin and horny scales, which make it tougher and able to thicken into calluses.

The stratum corneum contains dead keratinocytes, which produce defensins. Defensins are strings of amino acids that protect the body from infection.

Connecting the dermis and epidermis are structures called dermal papillae. Dermal papillae are more prominent in thick skin than thin skin.

Dermal papillae increase the surface area between the epidermis and dermis, allowing for more oxygen, food, and waste to pass between the layers.

The following table summarizes the key structural differences between thin and thick skin:

StructuresThin skinThick skin
DermisThicker dermis, can vary depending on area of bodyThinner dermis
EpidermisThinner epidermis, ranging from 0.07–0.15 mm. Epidermis contains 4 layers.Thicker epidermis, ranging from 0.8–1.5 mm. Epidermis contains 5 layers.
Sweat glandsContains eccrine sweat glands, and apocrine sweat glands in the armpits and groinNo apocrine sweat glands. Only eccrine sweat glands are present in thick skin.
Dermal papillaePresentMore prominent
Sebaceous glandsContains sebaceous glandsNo sebaceous glands
Hair folliclesContains hair folliclesNo hair follicles
Stratum lucidumNo stratum lucidum layerStratum lucidum layer in the epidermis
Stratum corneumThin stratum corneum layerThick stratum corneum layer
Stratum granulosumSingle layer of cells4–5 cells thick
Stratum spinosum and basale layerStratum spinosum is thinnerBoth layers are more prominent

Skin in general has many different functions, such as protection, sensation, and thermoregulation. Both thin and thick skin have properties that allow the skin to function correctly.

For example, thin skin contains hair follicles, which are important in producing hair to help regulate temperature and protect from ultraviolet radiation. Hair follicles also provide epithelial stem cells, which help repair wounds.

In addition, thin skin contains sebaceous glands, which produce sebum. Sebum helps to lubricate the skin and protect against infections.

Thin skin also contains eccrine and apocrine sweat glands. Sweat glands help to regulate body temperature by releasing sweat to cool the body, and also help to repair skin damage.

Thick skin provides protection from damage in areas that experience more friction and abrasion, such as the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Thick skin also contains eccrine sweat glands to help regulate body temperature.

Skin is a large, complex organ with a wide range of vital roles. Thin skin and thick skin have different structures and functions in the body. The layers they contain provide their thickness and allow them to carry out their roles.

Thin skin is present on most of the body, and helps to protect against infections, regulate temperature, and allows hair to grow. Thick skin covers the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet and protects these areas from extra abrasion and friction.

How to determine if your skin is thin or thick

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Supreme Mentor (134928)

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Mentor (45179)

Thin skin is very sensitive. With thin skin, capillaries shine through, dark circles are often visible under the eyes. As a rule, thin skin is prone to dryness. Thick skin - porous and tends to be oily


Chief's daughter

Instructor (34608)

If on the face, then on thick skin pores are clearly visible, thin skin - blood vessels shine through. not under a lamp, of course. they'll tell you in a week. This is if you are really interested in coverage. about rhinos not here


But how to determine the thickness of the skin rough and dense skin, or vice versa thin and delicate

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why farm chicken is thick and yellow, but store chicken is blue

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...SUMMER IS SOON )) you like sunbathing, it is important for you to be like a chocolate bar, or don't worry about it...because frequent sunburn ages the skin??? ))

Does thick facial skin age faster?

Thick skin of the face …

27 answers Go to



I have rather thick skin on my face. Recently, a woman told me that wrinkles appear faster on thick skin and, since it is thicker and, as it were, heavier), it sags much faster. Is this really true? Cosmetologists or just those who know, tell me. It's a shame, and so not a beauty, so she was also unlucky with her skin.


but if the skin is thick on the body, then it is more sensitive to weight fluctuations and less elastic!



9000 #5

908 2014, 21:38










Subtle skin ages

#15 9000

Curious 9000 Small Sleep Sleep of the Old Summer Law

Thick skin stays young for a very long time.

At 50 it will easily look like 35, brush it off / have it. Thick skin on the face.

Nothing to buy,


But you'll get used to the fact that you won't have any girlfriends.



I have thin skin, my friend has thick, dense, she has great potential. We are 40 years old. At 35, I was still like a girl - a clear oval, without wrinkles, and her nasolabial folds are pronounced, such terrible creases. Botox, Restylane. I noticed rapid changes a year ago, but this, again, is not sagging, but pigmentation, enlarged pores, and also a little Asian eyes, the upper eyelid spoiled everything, I had blepharo, after the operation I look younger than my friend.



2 +++0002 +++011!!!

Baba told you out of anger exactly the opposite.

Thick skin stays young for a very long time.

At 50 it will easily look like 35, brush it off / have it. Thick skin on the face.

Nothing to buy,


But you'll get used to the fact that you won't have any girlfriends.

I look good, no one gives me my age. The other day a lady clearly younger than me, "girl" addressed me. I was foolishly offended and replied that the girl already has a granddaughter. I should have said thank you for the compliment)

I foresee that they will come running with envy and insults - really, it's not worth it, to each his own. Someone has such genetics, someone has a different one, we are all different and nothing can be done about it.



Let me tell you about the pros. When I was 18 years old, the massage therapist said that I have excellent beautiful soft elastic skin) I answered, well, yes, of course, I'm 18)) he replied, believe me, your skin will be like this for a long time. 10 years have passed. My skin is firm, soft, and smooth. I don't use body creams. When I put on a lotion or cream, I feel the skin is congested, I feel sticky and creamy on the body. On the face, I just recently started using creams, and even then I prefer very light textures, such as serums.

I had a baby, not a single stretch mark. I did rhinoplasty, blepharo and breasts. There are no scars on the eyes and on the chest. They are not visible at all. My friend had similar operations, she has white scars. At the same doctor)

My breasts went through modifications 10 times. In 11th grade and from size zero I got a three-ruble mark :-) then I lost weight and my breasts became size 2, when I got pregnant my breasts became size 4, and when milk came 5 -ka. After feeding, my breasts deflated to size 2, and then I had an operation and now I am almost a size 4. No pull-up required. Stretch marks did not appear))

Survived 4 years ago burns of 3 a and b degrees on 30 percent of the body. 4th degree is already charring. She lay in the sklif for 10 days (although at the beginning they said at least 2 weeks), everything just healed quickly. The surgeon was surprised how quickly the skin regenerates. Then 4 years ago I was told that burned skin would never be the same as before. Too severe a burn. But time has passed, there is no trace of the scars.

These are the advantages of thick dense leather.



thin dry skin ages faster


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  • #23


    #25000 #25000 #25000 #25000 #25000 #25000 #25000 #25000 #25000 #25000 #25000 # October 2017, 19:29


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    Girl 51, isn't it funny? And if they call a dog, will you believe it too? :)



    I have thick skin - yes, this is a salvation for a woman. Although one of my classmates coyly asserted that thick skin is a sign of non-aristocratic origin. Well, perhaps with her four longitudinal wrinkles on her forehead and emerging nasolabial folds at 27 years old - her theoretical aristocracy served as her consolation. My thick skin, by the age of 38, came without severe lesions - and withstood weight fluctuations of 12 kg without stretch marks, and scars are practically not visible, and from wrinkles - small garbage under the eyes and corrected two eyebrows. The forehead is smooth without correction. Thin, dryish matte skin is beautiful in youth. Then she begins to rapidly lose ground, especially without proper care.



    So there is

    and 90. I had thick oily skin when I was younger. Now, at 51, my skin has become normal-combination, there are no wrinkles at all, there are no problems either, there is enough home care, however, I have been using pharmacy cosmetics lately. I had a beautician only in my youth, I did cleansing and that's it.

    I look good, no one gives me my age. The other day a lady clearly younger than me, "girl" addressed me. I was foolishly offended and replied that the girl already has a granddaughter. I should have said thank you for the compliment)

    I foresee that they will come running with envy and insults - really, it's not worth it, to each his own. Someone has such genetics, someone has a different one, we are all different and nothing can be done about it.

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