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The Skin

The skin is the body’s largest organ. It protects us against heat, light, injury, and infection, helps control body temperature, and also makes vitamin D. The skin is comprised of two main layers, shown below:

• Epidermis: The top layer of the skin, comprised mostly of flat squamous cells. Under the squamous cells in the deepest part of the epidermis are round cells called basal cells. Cells called melanocytes make the pigment (color) found in skin and are located in the lower part of the epidermis.

• Dermis: The dermis is deep to the epidermis and contains collagen, elastin, blood vessels, lymph vessels, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands.

layers-of-the-skin-epidermis-and-dermis

Diagram taken from NCI What You Need to Know About Skin Cancer

 

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