What makes up the skin?

Skin is composed of three layers: the epidermis (outer layer), dermis (middle layer) and hypodermis (innermost layer). 

The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin.

The dermis is the thickest layer of skin and is full of collagen which gives the skin it's firmness. It has important roles to: produce sweat and regulates the body's temperature; produce oil; grow hair; distribute blood; protect the body, and define skin structure.3

The hypodermis is made up of fat and connective tissue. It’s what connects our skin to the bone and muscle beneath it. 

Our skin is covered in pores, which, as well as being the home to hair follicles, allow sweat and sebum (natural oils) from the sebaceous glands to travel up to the skin’s surface. This allows the skin to hydrate itself.4

Why is skin so important?

The skin is the largest organ in the human body. As well as performing a number of functions that are vital to health, such as temperature regulation and insulation, skin plays a key role in preventing water loss and protecting us against external aggressors that cause disease. 

What is normal skin?5

  • Top layer keeps irritants out and locks moisture in
  • Corneocytes retain water to stop gaps forming
  • The outermost layer of corneocytes and lipids help to retain water, keeping the skin hydrated.
  • Not too dry or too oily

   What is eczema?6

  • Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition with symptoms including dry, itchy and reddened skinSeverely itchy, sometimes with cracked, blistered or bleeding skin
  • skin can sometimes become cracked and sore
  • Commonly appears on the face, back of knees, wrists, hands and feet
  • Skin can be thick and scaly
  • Can be hereditary


Download our poster eczema v. normal skin

   What is dry skin?7 

  • Affects arms, hands, lower legs, abdomen, ankles, soles of feet
  • can affect anywhere on the body, but may be more common in exposed areas such as the face and hands
  • Skin usually doesn't crack or blister
  • Maybe the result of over-bathing or showering in hot water

   What is contact dermatitis?8 

  • Rash caused by something your skin comes into contact with
  • Two types: irritant and allergic
  • Irritants include soaps, detergents, chemicals and plants
  • Allergens include nickel, cosmetics, preservatives and rubber
  • Most commonly affects hands
  • Causes redness, stinging, burning, soreness and scaling

   What is psoriasis?9 

  • Red, flaky, crusty patches of skin with scales
  • Caused by increased production of skin cells
  • Linked to problems with the immune system
  • Not contagious
  • Often runs in families

Each year 24% of the population present to their GP with a skin problem.

   Did you know..?

  • If you were to stretch out the skin of the average adult it would cover 22 square feet 10
  • Every minute of the day we lose about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells from the surface of our skin11
  • 1 in 5 children and 1 in 12 adults suffers from eczema in the UK 12
  • The thickest skin is found on your feet and the thinnest on your eyelids 13
  • It takes up to 6 months for babies to develop their skin tone 13
  • 4/5 teenagers get some form of acne 13
  • The skin renews itself every 28 days 14
  • There are at least five types of receptors in the skin that respond to pain and touch 15