General Dermatology

Epidermis

The outer and thinner layer of the skin, the epidermis, consists of dividing cells, which replace the dead cells shed from the tough protective surface layer.

Dermis

Beneath the epidermis lies the dermis. The main function of the dermis is to provide a tough matrix to support the many structures embedded in it, such as vessels and nerves. The dermis also contains collagen, elastic fibres and hyaluronic acid. Collagen prevents the skin from being torn by over-stretching and elastic fibres give the skin its elasticity. Hyaluronic acid is the substance that creates the volume. The dermis is thicker than the epidermis, ranging from 0.6 mm on the eyelids to as much as 3 mm on the soles and palms.

Subcutis

The subcutaneous tissue, while not formally a part of the skin, is very closely related to it. It is a high-calorie storage depot that helps maintain body and skin temperature. Subcutaneous fat occurs almost universally over the body surface between the skin and the deeper structures, but it is absent from the eyelids and the male genitalia. It varies in thickness in different parts of the body, as we all know. It acts as an insulating layer and as a protective cushion, and it also has an important role as a store of readily available energy. In a normal person, fat constitutes about 10%- 25% of the body weight. Fat also provides support and has a cosmetic function, for example in the contours of the face.

This layer varies in thickness with the race, age and hormonal and nutritional status of the individual but is usually thicker than the dermis. It binds the skin loosely to underlying structures. Muscles are present in the subcutaneous tissue, blood vessels and lymphatics travel through it in going to and from the skin and many sweat glands and hair follicles extend down into it.

Facial wrinkles are produced by repeated and habitual contraction of the underlying muscles of facial expression. When the facial muscles contract, the muscles shorten without a corresponding shortening of the overlying skin, thereby producing a wrinkle. Other factors that cause ageing of the skin are the thickness of the skin and the amount of underlying fat, the water content of the skin, the distribution and ratio of collagen and elastic fibres, and the biochemical changes in the connective tissue interstitial substance.

Skin Sensitivities

  • Your skin feels overly dry and itchy.
  • Red blotches, bumps or even blisters may appear.

Diseases of the Skin

  • Contact Dermatitis
  • Allergies
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Eczema
  • Poison ivy
  • Poison oak
  • Itchy skin
  • Dry, scaly skin

Inflammation, pustules, change in skin pigmentation, scaly lesions, rashes and even hair loss are some of the many symptom's of skin disease.

  • Acne
  • Vitiligo
  • Psoriasis
  • Lupus
  • Alopecia
  • Eczema
  • Hormonal problems
  • Photoaging

There are excellent treatments to effectively control and improve their appearance.

Infections

You experience skin discoloration, inflammation and, in severe cases or advanced cases, pain and fever may occur.

  • Viral infections
  • Chicken pox
  • Herpes
  • Cold sores
  • Warts
  • Bacterial infections
  • Impetigo
  • Folliculitis
  • Fungal infections
  • Ringworm
  • Athlete's foot
  • Nail fungus

Dr. Day in StyleList

Stylelist Magazine, Dermatologist Dr. Doris DayStyleList Online
Dr. Day featured in AOL's StyleList talking about proper use of skin care products

Style List Article

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