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Cross Section of the Skin

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There are two main skin layers:

  • The outer layer (epidermis)
  • The inner layer (dermis)

The skin cells (melanocytes) that develop into melanoma usually are found in the epidermis.

The bottom layer shown in the picture (subcutaneous layer) is not really part of the skin. It is a layer of connective tissue, fat cells, blood vessels, and nerves. This layer lies between the skin and the structures under it, such as muscles.

Skin depth varies depending on location. It is thin on the neck and thick on the soles of the feet.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerAmy McMichael, MD - Dermatology
Last RevisedOctober 2, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 02, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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