Eshani Karu, MD

Everything Epidermis

Dr Eshani Karu MD Epidermis Skin

Keratin, Melanin, Basal, Epithelial, Collagen

Eshani Karu, MD asks, "Ever watched television and seen the ads for beauty products?" If you listen closely the beauty manufacturers will mention at least one of our familiar words listed at the top of the page. The word keratin comes from the word keratinocytes. Our skin epidermis is on the outer most layer of our outside skin and it is thin skin, but tough. In scientific speak we will say the epidermis is comprised of keratinized epithelium, which are made up of epithelial cells. If you are a lover of words, as is Eshani Karu, we find it fascinating the way our everyday sales and beauty speech is filled with the scientific language of biology.

Dr Eshani Karu informs us that the epidermis is relatively thin, tough and found on the outer layer of our skin. Most of the skin's cells in the epidermis are keratinocytes and these keratin cells are being created in the deepest layer of our epidermis, which has the scientific term - basal layer. So in the language of beauty, keratin makes its way to the top of our skin and eventually it begins the shed (keratin) because it is being pushed and replaced by new keratinocytes. A keratinocyte is a cell that makes and keeps the protein keratin in the skin. Keratin is the reason that we have hard nails, luxurious hair and skin that keeps the water running off our skin.

Now the deepest layer of the epidermis is the stratum basale. Why are we talking about layers within layers? Because the statum basale rests on top of the middle layer "dermis" and "stratum basale cells to the dermis via intertwining collagen fibers". So here we find the word collagen coming into our vocabulary and it is important to note the word. Collagen is continuously used in the language of beauty and it is important to know where collagen is found and here is one place that it is found.

It's important to know that the epidermis outside part of our body that is exposed to the weather is also called "stratum corneum" and it is because of this skin layer within a skin layer that we are pretty much waterproof and that when our skin is whole and without scraps and bruises (not damaged), it prevents viruses, bacteria and other foreign "things" from coming in to our body through our skin. The stratum corneum is comprised of 15 to 30 layers of keratinocytes and this is where the keratin cells die and are replaced with new ones arising from the shedding. This entire layer of skin is replaced in about four (4) weeks. Cosmetic treatments, like microdermabrasion, deal with this area of skin to keep us looking bright and healthy.

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