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an organ within the integumentary system

Integumentary System

composed of skin + accessory organs (ex. nails, hair, glands, nerve endings, sensory receptors)

stratum basale

deepest layer, actively mitotic

stratum spinosum

slightly mitotic, in conjunction with the stratum basale, referred to as the stratum germinativum; synthesis of keratin

stratum lucidum

present only in the thickest skin

stratum corneum

20-30 layers of flattened, keratinized dead cells. closest to surface, most protective layer

Papillary layer

loose connective tissue directly underlying the epidermis

Dermal ridges

due to the pulling of elastic fibers in the papillary layer

Reticular layer

dense irregular connective tissue underlying the papillary layer (stretch marks)

Subcutaneous layer

loose connective tissue and adipose tissue interlaced with blood vessels (ex. hypodermis) (women 8% thicker than men)


subcutaneous blood flow


pigment acquired through the diet; thicker stratum corneum, primarily found in people of east asia


Melanin, produced by melanocytes found in the stratum basale; light to dark coloration


small, isolated patches of highly concentrated melanin secretion

Dark skin tones

serve to protect against cell damage due to excessive uv radiation; also more susceptible to damage by extreme cold


melanocytes respond to increased amounts of uv radiation by producing more melanin

Vitamin D

necessary for proper bone growth; a deficiency results in rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults

Skin color differences are primarily due to..

amount of melanin produced and its distribution


approximately everyone has the same number


yellowish pigment acquired through the diet

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