The skin

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The largest organ in the body is skin. It consists of three layers:

  • the outer layer or epidermis

  • the dermis, the layer under the epidermis containing the sweat glands and hair follicles

  • the subcutaneous fat layer below the dermis.

Ultraviolet radiation passes into the skin damaging the cells. This may lead to sunburn and the skin can appear red. If there is a lot of sun exposure there can be a change in the genetic material (DNA) in the cells and this may lead to the growth of a tumour.

If you spread your skin out it would be a strip one metre long and 1.8 metres wide.

New skin grows continually and old skin flakes off (cockroach food).

Skin is renewed every 28 days.

There are 6 million skin cells per square centimetre.

Every minute you lose more than 30 000 skin cells.

When you drink water your skin swells.


cross section of skin


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