Human Skin Anatomy-Structure as Per Ayurveda & Modern Science

Human Skin is the outermost Tissue of our Body. It is a Multi-Layered Structure and comprises of Cells-Hair-Fibres-Veins-Capillaries-Nerves…

Major Functions:

  1. Protect our Body-Organs from External Environment,
  2. Provide protection against Pathogens (Virus-Bacteria…),
  3. Regulates Body Temperature (Sweat=>Evaporation=>Cooling),
  4. Elimination of Blood-Body Toxins as a result of Body Metabolism (Via Secretion of Sweat-Skin Lipid),
  5. Produces Vitamin-D, on exposure to Sunlight,
  6. It is one of our Sensory Organ (Due Presence of Nerve Fibres-Endings; Sense of Touch-Temperature).

The Composition & Structure of Human Skin:

  1. At Micro Level Important Skin Components are Cells, Fibres & Chromosomes,
  2. Broadly Skin comprises of various layers – Epidermis, Dermis & Sub cutis (Brief on Layers after Cells-Fibres-Chromosomes),
  3. Externally Skin consists of Lipids, Hair & Eventually Wrinkles!

The Skin Cells:

  1. Main Cells found in Skin are Keratinocyte, Fibroblast, Fat-Lipid cells, Melanocytes & Erythrocytes,
  2. A typical Cell’s Outer Membrane is a Bi-Layered membrane of Lipids,
  3. Epidermis dominantly consists of Keratinocytes. Keratinocytes produce a Protein Keratin which is responsible for rigidity of Epidermis,
  4. Dermis mostly consists of Fat Cells. Fat Cells do not absorb Light whereas Melanocytes & Erythrocytes do so (Due Presence of Chromophores),
  5. Melanin, Main light absorbing pigment of skin, is found in Melanocytes. Regions exposed to Sunlight (Face-Skull…) have more of Melanocytes & Melanin,
  6. Erythrocytes (RBC’s) are carriers of light absorbing pigment Haemoglobin (Which carries O2 from Lungs to Tissues & CO2 from Tissues to Lungs),
  7. Epidermis is quite a thin layer (0.2 mm) & mostly consists of cells. Dermis is much thicker than Epidermis (2 mm) & contains much more of Fibres.

The Skin Fibres:

  1. Important Skin Fibres are keratin, Collagen & Elastin,
  2. Keratin are mostly found in Epidermis Cells, help in Moisture retention by Skin & Provide Protection to Inner Layers of Skin. Keratin is a strong Protein (Dominant in hair-nails) & gives Rigidity to our Skin,
  3. Collagen are mostly found in Dermis (70 %+) & Provide dermis its Strength & Elasticity. Collagen consists of Polypeptide Chains (Proteins-Amin Acids),
  4. Collagen suffers with ageing & causes wrinkles,
  5. Small Percentage of Dermis (<5 %) also comprises of Elastin (Proteins). Elastin too provides Elasticity & Structural Strength to Dermis.

The Skin Chromosomes (Light absorbing Bio-Chemicals):

  1. Melanin predominantly is found in Epidermis (Including our Hair). Melanin (Different Types & Concentration) gives colour to our Skin & Hair=>Black-Brown-Reddish Brown-Yellowish… It absorbs-Scatters UV Light,
  2. Haemoglobin is red coloured & is found in Erythrocytes.

The Skin Layers:  

            

  1. Epidermis is outermost layer & doesn’t have any Veins or Capillaries. Further Sub-Layers are Stratum Corneum (Horny Cell Layer), Stratum Lucidum (Only in Soles & Palms), Stratum Granulosum (Granular), Stratum Spinosum, Stratum Basale (Basale Cell Layer). The Layer Tones our skin,
    Skin Epidermal Layers
    Skin Epidermal Layers
  2. Stratum Basale: Keratinocytes are produced & Move towards Outer Layer. With Ageing Keratinocytes loses its Water Retention Ability. Melanocytes are also present in Basale,
  3. Stratum Spinosum: Also called Prickle Cell Layer as have Spines on Outer membrane,
  4. Stratum Granulosum: Cells mostly filled with Keratin Fibres,
  5. Stratum Corneum: Surrounded by Intercellular Lipids & Presence of NMF & Ceramides… prevents excess Dehydration of skin,
  6. Sub Divisions of Dermis (Haemoglobin Layer) are Papillary Layer (High Density of Nerve Fibres) & Reticular Layer (High Density of Collagen Fibres). As such Dermis consists of the Tough Connective Tissue,
  7. Subcutis (Hypodermis) is beneath Dermis & Consists Mostly of Fat-Connective Cells-Tissues.

Hair grows from Hair Follicle (in Dermis) & goes onto the Surface. Bottom end of Follicle is embedding onto Subcutis. Black Colour of Hair is determined by amount of Melanin (Eumelanin) & Depletion of Hair renders Hair White.

Skin Surface Lipid is responsible for Skin Lustre. Prevents Dehydration of Skin & keeps it smooth & shining. Basis of Surface Lipid Film is a Yellow Coloured Oily Fluid ‘Sebum’, secreted by Sebaceous Glands (Dermal Layer).

Wrinkles could be Shallow (Due Distortion-water Loss in the Epidermis Layer) or Deep (Distortion of Dermis Due Loss of Collagen & Elastin Fibres).

Skin Pores are mostly due Orifices of Sebaceous & sweat Glands and terminate at Dermis Level. Through these Orifices Herbal Oils-Medicines could be delivered to the needy Dermis Layer.

Moles-Freckles-Spots: Due Malfunction of Melanin Metabolism, Melanin is not able to release out to the skin surface and gets embedded in Epidermis-Dermis Layers & These Pigmentary Deposits form Moles-Freckles etc. these may also result due excess production of Melanin which happens due UV Rays, Ageing or Excess stimulation.

Few Important Points-Skin Disorders:

  1. A Nice Pressed Head Massage should be able to easily push Down the Head Oil (or A2 Ghee) down to The Dermis Level!
  2. Some exposure to Sunlight is utterly essential for good skin (Sunlight easily penetrates epidermal layer/s ad goes on to the end of Dermal Layer/s of The Skin) (And Please! I am referring to the Early Morning Sun),
  3. ‘Acne’ is simply deposition of Oily Secretions (Sebum) onto the Hair Follicles,
  4. Dermatitis is Inflammation of Skin,
  5. Cellulitis is Inflammation of Dermis & Subcutaneous Layers,
  6. Abscess: Pus Formation (Just under the outer skin membrane) due infection,
  7. Warts: Viral Infection of Skin (Deeper layers) which causes excess growth of skin,
  8. Ring Worm: Fungal Infection & Rings are formed,
  9. Most Skin Ailments are caused due imbalance of Doshas at Micro levels,
  10. Please Remember, in almost all Skin Infections, Colloidal Silver-Copper (+ Lemon), Baking Soda, Honey & A2 Ghee would (or could) play a huge soothing role.

Ayurvedically, Human Skin is Sparshanendriya (A Sensory Organ!! I mean we knew this 1000’s of Years Back!!) & is mostly related to Vata Dosha. Bhrajaka Pitta (Situated in Skin) is responsible for Skin Lustre. It comprises of Seven Layers such that each one supports the Layer just above it. The Layers are Avabhasini (Horny Layer, Gives Skin Lustre and reflects quality of rasa Dhatu, Malfunction leads to Acne-Pimples…), Lohita (Stratum Lucidum, Supports Avabhasini & reflects quality of Raqta Dhatu, Malfunction leads to Dark Circles-Black Pigmentation…), Shweta (Stratum Granulosum, White Fluid, Balances Skin Colour, Malfunction leads to Eczema-Allergic Rashes…), Tamra (Malphagian-Dermis-Haemoglobin Layer, Supports Immune System, Malfunction leads to Pathogenic Skin Infections), Vedini (Papillary Layer, Connective Tissues, Sensory Functions, Malfunction leads to Serious Ailments like Herpes), Rohini (Reticular Layer, Regenerative Property, Supports Healing, Malfunction leads to Serious Ailments like Tumours/Cancers…) and Mamsadhara (Provides Stability & Rigidity, Malfunction leads to Abscesses-Fissures-Fistula…).

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