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stratum germinativum

innermost epidermal layer; aslo called stratum basale. is relatively dry and water resistant, but not water proof.

epidermal ridges

formed by the stratum germinativum which extend into the dermis and are adjacent to dermal projections

dermal papillae

dermal projections; project into the epidermis(nipple shaped mound)

dermal papillae and epidermal ridges

are significant because the strength of the attachment is proportional to the surface area of the basal lamina.

basal cells

or germinative cells, dominate the stratum germinativum. They are stem cells whose divisions replace the more superficial keratinocytes that are lost of shed at the epithelial surface.

merkel cells

sensitive to touch, when compressed, they release chemicals that stimulate sensory nerve endings.

Stratum Spinosum

consists of 8 to 10 layers of keratinocytes bound together by desmosomes; means spiny layer, refers to the fact that the cells look like miniature pincushions in standard histological sections.

dendritic cells

they participate in the the immune response by stimulating a defense against microorganisms that manage to penetrate the superficial layers of the epidermis, and superficial skin cancers.

stratum granulosum

superficial to the stratum spinosum, also called grainy layer. Consist of three to five keratinocytes derived from teh stratum spinosum.


a tough fiberous protein, is the basic structural component of hair and nails in humans.


forms dense cytoplasmic granules that promote dehydration of the cell as well as aggregation and cross-linking of the keratin fibers.

Stratum lucidum

cover the stratum granulosum

stratum corneum

contains 15 to 30 layers of keratinized cells. Located at the exposed surface of thick and think skin


or cornification, is the formation of protective, superficial layers of cells filled with Keratin. The process occurs on all exposed skin surfaces except the anterior surfaces of the eyes.

insensible perspiration

water from interstitial fluids slowly penetrates the surface, to be evaporated into the surrounding air causing you to loose roughly 500 ml of water. Unable to feel the water loss.

sensible perspiration

produced by active sweat glands


excessively dry skin; consequence of severe burns

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