The Epidermis: The outer or top layer of the skin is called the epidermis. Short cut natural curly hairstyles The epidermis is the thinnest layer of the skin. It is about the thickness of a few pages of a book. The nails, hair, and toenails grow from the epidermis. (Figure 2, opposite)
As in all tissues of the body, the epidermis is composed of cells. The three main cells of the epidermis are keratinocvtes, melanocytes, and Langerhans cells. Kera-tinocytes manufacture the protein keratin. Melanocytes produce the pigments that colour skin. Langerhans cells are components of the immune system and aid in the body’s defence against infection and disease.
There are several layers within the epidermis. The bottom layer, closest to the corium, produces new cells that move upward as dead cells are lost each day. The entire process, from the production of new cells to those cells being sloughed off, takes about one month. The innermost layer of the epidermis also contains the pigment cells (melanocytes) that give the skin its colour.
Keratin is responsible for the ability of the skin to provide a physical barrier against chemicals, parasites, and other foreign substances. In contrast, the Langerhans cells destroy harmful substances that invade the skin. Covering all the layers of the skin is a layer of dead keratinised cells. These cells swell in response to moisture and are shed daily.
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