Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care warning signs Prevention Underlying Cause Anatomy

Skin Bump Anatomy

To better understand a skin lesion, it helps to understand the anatomy of the skin.

The skin contains three main layers:

  • Epidermis:
    • The superficial layer that makes up the surface of the skin
    • It is composed of skin cells and can be divided into 5 layers based on cell type.
    • The top layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, is made of dead, flat skin cells that shed about every 2 weeks.
    • The thickness of the epidermis varies, according to location: it is very thick over the soles of the feet, and very thin over the ears.
  • Dermis:
    • Lies beneath the epidermis
    • Also varies in thickness depending on the location of the skin. It is .3 mm on the eyelid and 3.0 mm on the back.
    • The dermis is composed of 2 layers that contain a connective tissue called collagen
    • The dermis contains blood vessels, nerves, sweat glands, and hair follicles.
    • The number of structures in the dermis varies, according to location.
    • The dermis under the arms contains more sweat glands and hair follicles than the dermis on the back.
  • Subcutaneous layer:
    • Mainly fat and connective tissue.
    • Contains blood vessels and nerves.

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Skin Bump References
  1. Day GR, Barbour RH. Automated skin lesion screening--a new approach. Melanoma Res. 2001 Feb;11(1):31-5. [11254113]
  2. Liu HN, Perry HO. Identifying a common--and benign--geriatric skin lesion. Geriatrics. 1986 Jul;41(7):71-3, 76. [3721204]
  3. Marks VJ. Actinic keratosis. A premalignant skin lesion. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 1993 Feb;26(1):23-35. [8433840]
  4. Ollstein RN. Skin lesions in the elderly: precancer and cancer. Care Manag J. 2004 Summer;5(2):107-11. [16047916]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.