Layers of the skin

There are two main skin layers:

  • The outer layer (epidermis) has four sublayers. The skin cells (melanocytes) that develop into melanoma usually are found in the lower epidermis.
  • The inner layer (dermis) has two sublayers, the papillary (first) and reticular (lower) layers.

Skin depth varies depending on location. It is thin on the neck, thick on the soles of the feet. Fat, connective tissue, muscles, and muscle covering (fascia) lie below the skin.

Last Updated: December 5, 2008

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