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Skin Facts & Care: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. Learn more about the layers of the skin, its varieties and tips on how you can care for this important organ.

What is Skin?

Do you know what the largest organ in your body is? It's not your brain or your heart or even your lungs. It's your skin. Your skin is a thin layer of cells and tissues that covers almost all of your body. In fact, you have almost 20 million skin cells in each square inch of your body. Your skin is very important as it keeps all of your organs tucked inside your body, controls your body temperature, and protects your insides from the outside world. Not having skin would like going outside in freezing temperatures without a coat!

Layers of the Skin

The outermost layer of the skin is the epidermis. The epidermis' job is to protect your body from germs, chemicals and other dangers in the air. Also, the epidermis is constantly making new cells to replace old, dead skin cells. This process is known as regeneration. Look at your epidermis now. Those cells will not be there in a month, as your skin gets rid of tens of thousands of cells a day.

The layers of the skin
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The dermis is the second layer of the skin. One of its main jobs is to make it possible for you to feel things, like pain or heat, because the nerve endings are in this layer. Has your skin ever felt oily? You have your dermis to thank for that, as this is the layer where oil is made, as well as sweat and hair.

The innermost layer of the skin is the fatty tissue, or subcutaneous fat. Think of this layer like a piece of tape, since it connects your skin to your muscles and bones. This layer is also responsible for regulating your body temperature and storing fat cells.

Skin Differences

Think about the different people in the world. Some of them have skin that looks like yours, while other people's skin might be darker or lighter. This is a result of the amount of melanin in the skin; the more melanin, the darker the skin. Melanin's main job is to protect you from the sun's rays. If you have light skin, it is more likely that you will get a sunburn.

The people in this picture have different amounts of melanin in their skin
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