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Thick skin

Recommended video: Skin [38:23]
General histology of the skin.

The skin is the largest organ of the human body with a total area of about 20 square feet (~1.9 square meters). Depending on its location, the skin thickness can vary, which is why the skin can be sub-classified into “thick skin” and “thin skin”. Histologically, the thickness of the skin depends mainly on the thickness of the epidermal layer. In areas where the skin is thick, the epidermal layer varies from 400 to 1400 μm. 

The skin is the thickest on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands. The thick skin has five layers of the epidermis in comparison to the thin skin which has four. These five layers include (deep to superficial): 

  • Basal layer
  • Spinous layer
  • Granular layer
  • Strutum lucidum 
  • Stratum corneum

Note that the main histological difference between thick and thin skin is in presence of stratum lucidum in thick skin. Stratum lucidum is a translucent layer of flattened keratinocytes held together by desmosomes.

Terminology English: Thick skin
Latin: Thick skin
Definition The skin found on soles and palms. 
Layers  Basal layer, spinous layer, granular layer, stratum lucidum, stratum corneum

Learn everything about the skin with the following study unit: 

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