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Skin Basics

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Skin Basics

Our skin is the largest organ in our body. It holds our insides together and protects us from outside factors. There are areas around our body where the skin is thinner like, lips and eyelids. The thickest part of our skin is the palms of our hands and soles of the feet.

LAYERS OF SKIN

We have 3 main layers of skin

  • Epidermis- the outermost layer of the skin
  • Subcutaneous- the most deep layer of adipose tissue
  • Dermis- middle layer made up of connective tissue, capillaries, and nerve endings

As your aesthetician I am only allowed to work on the outermost part of the skin, the Epidermis. Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons are able to work down to the Dermis and Subcutaneous layers of the skin.

EPIDERMIS

Within the first layers of skin we have 5 sub layers and each has a function in our cell renewal process. There are no blood vessels in this layer nor does it contain nerve endings.

Starting from the top most layer we have Stratum Corneum- this layer is made up of the dead skin cells that are ready to slough off to reveal new skin cells.

Stratum Lucidum and Stratum Granulosum- are cell layers that move up in the cell renewal process then become dehydrated and die. The Lucidum layer is made up of clear cells that let light pass through the skin, which you can only find on areas with thicker skin like our palms and soles.

The second to last layer is Stratum Spinosum- the main function of this layer is to protect your skin from foreign materials while producing and retaining moisture on the skin. This layer is often affected by those who struggle with dry skin and need extra moisturizers to ensure it is working properly.

Final epidermis layer is Stratum Basale- this layer is responsible for the growth of new cells. Here we also produce our melanocytes which are cells that protect us from the UV rays of the sun.

DERMIS AND FUNCTIONS

Right under the Basal layer is the Dermis, thicker layer below the epidermis. Without going into much depth of the Dermis lets go over the functions and purpose. There are sweat glands- pores, that help keep you cool and rid out toxins. Sebaceous glands- where we produce oil that aids in maintaining our skin hydrated. Our oil glands can also over produce and that’s when people struggle with excessive oil and acne. We also can “feel” in this layer- our nerve endings send signals to the brain to tell you when something hurts, is hot, itches, or feels nice. Blood vessels are located in the dermis; they feed the skin and regulate our body temperature. Our hair grows in the dermis layer; the root of the hair is attached to a very small muscle that tightens which gives you goosebumps when you’re cold or scared. We have some of the top Aesthetic Nurses in Newport Beach and Orange Country, who work in the dermis layer, when they are doing treatments like: Nerotoxins, Dermal Filler, Morpheus 8, IPL and hair removal.

PROTECTING THE SKIN

With summer approaching you want to protect the organ that protects us. Too much UV radiation from the sun can weaken our immune system. You want to invest in medical grade sunscreens. They have a high dose of zinc and titanium dioxide. These minerals are the best at protecting us from the sun’s harmful rays. Broad spectrum sunscreens with a SPF of 30 or more is ideal. I recommend SPF 30 if you are working indoors. If you work outside, I prefer my clients to use SPF 45-50. In my opinion anything more than 50 is the same as using SPF 75 and the reason for that is because reapplication after 2 hours is the most effective way to protect us from sun damage. You want a SPF that will filter out rays like UVB (Ultra Violet B) that penetrate the Epidermis and cause mild sunburns. UVA (Ultra Violet A) penetrate deeper and that’s when age spots, wrinkles and risks of skin cancer can happen. Here at Richland Aesthetics we are offering 20% off Pharmaceutical Sunscreens this summer! Come stock up in time for summer!

Please note that this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Before making any changes to your treatments, please consult with your healthcare provider to discuss the appropriateness and safety of such changes.