Another skin illustration found here

The skin, a.k.a. the integumentary system. It’s a lot more complicated than I thought… Where to begin? There are plenty of diagrams available that show all the “stuff” in the skin: pores, vessels, vesicles, capillaries, pacinian corpuscles (see the illustration on the left). However, I’m interested in the very, very beginning. So, why not start with the different layers, or strata.

By becoming familiar with these layers, all the stuff can be organized by some sort of hierarchy.

For example, within the stratum corneum of the epidermis, you’ll find your corneocytes, a specific type of skin cell or, more specifically, keratinocyte. These cells differ in form and function from adipocytes, another type of skin cell, which are the most popular type of cell in the hypodermis.


As seen in the above diagram, the skin (of vertebrates, and more specifically homo sapiens) has three main layers: epidermis, dermis, hypodermis. These layers are broken down into further sub-layers, specific to each level.

One anomaly in naming (maybe) is the reticular layer. If it’s to be grouped with the others, shouldn’t it be called the ‘stratum reticula‘, or something of that ilk? (Ha ha… ilk…)

Anyhow, an overview for the strata of the integumentary system is as follows:

Layers of the Skin

  1. Epidermis

    1. Stratum corneum
    2. Stratum lucidum (found in the skin of the palms and soles)
    3. Stratum granulosum
    4. Stratum spinosum
    5. Stratum basale / germinativum
  2. Dermis

    1. Stratum papillare
    2. Reticular Layer
  3. Hypodermis (or Subcutaneous Layer)


And there you have it. Another rabbit hole.

The main illustration for this article is .svg format. Pure vector goodness. So go ahead! Resize all you want, as you like, no pixelization here!