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13 Facts About the Skin
The skin is the largest organ in the body
The skin is the largest organ in the human body, with the average adult having 22 square feet of it.1 The skin plays a role in many functions, from regulating temperature to protecting your body from bacteria.
Your skin is made of 3 layers
Another skin fact is it has 3 layers: the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.
- Epidermis – the outer layer that protects your body from harm and keeps you hydrated.2
- Dermis – the middle layer that helps protect your body, allows you to feel sensations, and grow hair. The dermis supports the epidermis in its structure.3
- Hypodermis – this is the bottom layer of skin. Also known as subcutaneous tissue, the hypodermis regulates body temperature, stores fat, and connects the skin to muscles and bones.4
It is estimated that humans have 300 million skin cells
The average person is estimated to possess around 300 million skin cells.5 An inch of your skin contains approximately 19 million skin cells, 60,000 melanocytes (which gives your skin its pigment), 1,000 nerve endings, and 20 blood vessels.6
Your skin is 16% of your total body weight
The skin accounts for approximately 16% of your total body weight. One fun skin fact is that it is roughly 20 pounds, with the hair and nails counting as part of this tally.7
Secondhand smoke can damage your skin
Secondhand smoke is more dangerous to your skin than firsthand smoke because the levels of nicotine, tar, nitric oxide, and carbon monoxide are greater. These chemicals will damage your skin by destroying collagen enzymes, which promote youthful skin and wound healing.8
Some people are more at risk for dry skin than others
Another fact about skin is dry skin occurs when your body loses water and can’t replenish it. Some people are more at risk for dry skin than others, with some of the groups including:9
- Middle-aged or older individuals
- People who take medications for acne, antihistamines, or statins
- People with fair, black, or brown skin
- Individuals who live in lower temperature climates
Collagen determines how smooth the skin is
The more collagen your body has, the smoother and firmer your skin will be. Exercising is one way to increase the amount of collagen your body produces because it increases the amount of blood flow to the skin’s surface and contains nutrients and water.10
Going to sleep with makeup on can age you faster
Sleeping with makeup on can trap dirt and other harmful pollutants in your pores, which can result in breaking down the amount of collagen and elastin in your skin. Collagen and elastin help keep your skin looking youthful, but a lack of these can cause wrinkles and fine lines.11
There are 5 different skin types
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are 5 different skin types: normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive. Your skin type is determined by the amount of oil (sebum) you produce.12
Some of the dust in your home might be dead skin
In your own home, some of the dust might be dead skin. It’s estimated that your skin renews itself every 28 days, and your body lets go of 9 pounds of dead skin cells each year.13
Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States
Acne affects up to 50 million Americans annually in the United States, making it the most common skin condition. It is estimated that 85% of people between 12-24 experience minor forms of acne.14
Eyes show the first sign of aging
Your eyes will be the first place to show signs of aging with fine lines and wrinkles. Wrinkles and fine lines are also signs of dehydration, sleep deprivation, poor lifestyle choices, and sun exposure.15
Your skin is thinner and thicker in different places
Different surface areas of your skin can be thinner or thicker, with the eyelids having the thinnest skin. The skin is thicker on the soles of the feet and palms of your hands.16
Learn More About The Skin
Now that you know some facts about the skin, you can start learning more about how to care for it. You can check out our resources on how to keep your skin healthy and how to protect yourself from dry skin.
Saber Healthcare is an organization that provides skilled nursing care, rehabilitation, and assisted living services across the communities that we serve. To learn more about Saber Healthcare, click here.
Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.
- “Skin.” National Geographic. 18 January 2017. Accessed 23 November 2022. Link: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/skin-1#:~:text=Skin%20is%20the%20human%20body's%20largest%20organ.&text=Body%20organs%20aren't%20all,2%20square%20meters)%20of%20it.
- “Epidermis.” Cleveland Clinic. 19 October 2021. Accessed 23 November 2022. Link: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/21901-epidermis#:~:text=Your%20epidermis%20is%20the%20outermost,the%20color%20of%20your%20skin
- “Dermis.” Cleveland Clinic. 7 February 2022. Accessed 23 November 2022. Link: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/22357-dermis
- Jones, Brandi. Williams, Truswell, ed. “What is the Hypodermis?” Dotdash Meredith, Very Well Health. 20 October 2022. Accessed 23 November 2022. Link: https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-hypodermis-is-the-lowermost-layer-of-skin-2710144
- “Skin Fun Facts.” Derm Specialists. Accessed 23 November 2022. Link: https://derm-specialists.com/skin-fun-facts/
- “Skin.” Cleveland Clinic. 13 October 2021. Accessed 23 November 2022. Link: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10978-skin
- Melina, Remy. “How Much Does Your Skin Weigh?” Future US Inc., Livescience. 13 January 2011. Accessed 23 November 2022. Link: https://www.livescience.com/32939-how-much-does-skin-weigh.html
- Rouleau, Renee. “Does Secondhand Smoke Cause Damage To My Skin?” Renée Rouleau Inc. 11 April 2022. Accessed 23 November 2022. Link: https://blog.reneerouleau.com/does-secondhand-smoke-cause-damage-to-my-skin/
- “How to Protect Yourself From Dry Skin.” Saber Healthcare Group. 9 December 2021. Accessed 23 November 2022. Link: https://www.saberhealth.com/news/blog/what-causes-dry-skin
- “10 Interesting Facts About Your Skin.” Duly Health and Care. Accessed 23 November 2022. Link: https://www.dulyhealthandcare.com/health-topic/10-interesting-facts-about-your-skin
- “HERE'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SLEEP WITH YOUR MAKEUP ON.” A Broke Beauty Blogger. Accessed 23 November 2022. Link: https://www.abrokebeautyblogger.com/blog/heres-what-happens-when-you-sleep-with-your-makeup-on#:~:text=Sleeping%20with%20makeup%20on%20traps,with%20fine%20lines%20and%20wrinkles!
- “What Type of Skin Do I Have?” CeraVe. Accessed 23 November 2022. Link: https://www.cerave.com/skin-smarts/skincare-tips-advice/what-skin-type-do-i-have#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20American%20Academy,normal%2C%20combination%2C%20and%20sensitive.&text=Each%20skin%20type%20has%20its,and%20feel%20of%20your%20complexion.