Histology Guide

virtual microscopy laboratory

Chapter 11 - Skin

Skin covers the outer surface of the body and is the largest organ. Skin and it's accessory structures (hair, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, and nails) make up the integumentary system. Its primary functions are to protect the body from the environment and prevent water loss.

Skin is classified into two types:

Skin consists of two layers:

Deep to the dermis is the hypodermis, a layer of varying thickness of loose connective tissue and adipose tissue.

Thick Skin

Thick skin is only found on the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet, locations subjected to considerable abrasion. It has a thick epidermis and contains sweat glands, but lacks hair follicles and sebaceous glands.

Thin Skin

Thin skin covers most of the body except for the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. It has a relatively thin epidermis and contains hair follicles, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands.

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(H&E / Verhoeff)
(elastic fibers)

Pigmented Skin

Melanin is the most important substance in determining the color of skin.

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(H&E)
(thick and thin skin with melanin)
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(H&E)
(melanin)

Hair Follicles

Scalp hairs arise from hair follicles extending deep into the dermis. Hair follicles are invaginations of the epidermis that form multilayered cylinders of cells.

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(H&E)
(cross sections)
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(H&E)
(longitudinal sections)

Meissner and Pacinian Corpuscles

Meissner and Pacinian corpuscles are two types of touch/pressure receptors that are found in skin.

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(H&E)
(Meissner and Pacinian corpuscles)
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(H&E)
(Pacinian corpuscles)