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Note that much of the old discussion here concerns things now moved to the human skin article.


Surface area[edit]

I choose to question the statement that the skin has the largest surface area of all the organs. The lungs, for instance, has an immense surface area, though I am not sure of the numbers. Thus, I raise the issue here. What I do know is that the lungs, if placed outside the confinement of the body, could reach a volume of 6 cubical meters, if all the folds were to be straightened. Please help to look into this. --TVPR 11:50, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Okay, I'm removing the statement about surface area until someone can back it up. The interor of the intestine, for instance, can reach a surface area of 300 square meters. Yes, really. And the intestine is one single organ. --TVPR 08:49, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

This is from Hole's Essentials of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Eighth Edition, Chapter 6, page 113. "If the skin of 150-pound person were spread out flat, it would cover approximately 20 square feet. Jordan Yang 18:02, 14 Oct 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I found that also in MSN Encarta where it would spread out 20 square feet from a 150 pound male

Need for improvement[edit]

I hate to hurt anyone's feelings, but this is a very weak article and needs a lot of work to bring it up to the standards of an encyclopedia. I'm a Ph.D. biophysicist with experience but no special expertise regarding skin, so I'm not going to take on this one, other than my minor additions today. I looked here because I had added material on β-keratins to the article on feathers. There is some good material, but the writing and organization are not quite at a high school level. Sorry, but we have to keep improving the wiki project. Don't get discouraged; just keep working. Writing and organization will improve in proportion to practice.

If you're working on this, your heart and mind are in the right place. To put anatomy in perspective, just remember that if all the arteries, veins and capillaries of a man were laid out end to end, he would probably die.

David Shear 18:17, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

David, your involvement is appreciated. We desperately need experts to write our science and biology articles. You're the right man at the right place at the right time. JFW | T@lk 18:29, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree: just as a person who has minimal anatomy experience, this article lacks accuracy. As well, it is very brief for such a complex involved topic. Dr. Payne 20:10, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Another point: According to FASS 2007, the formula used to calculate skin-surface from length and body mass is pretty outdated; it's based on a study in 1916. Is there any info on this study (how many objects (people) were studied etc.)? Are there alternate methods of calculating the surface? The formula from FASS-07is S = M^{0.425} \cdot H^{0.725} \cdot 71.84, where S is skin surface in cm2, M is body mass in kg and H is height in cm.

Error in figure(?): The diagram of the skin layers in the section "epidermis" may be mis-labeled. Notice the bottom, red, striated layer. It has no label. It should be muscle. The yellow "blobs" of fat in the subcutaneous layer, or possibly the nerve fibers (unclear) seem to be labeled as "muscle fibers." I have no anatomical training per se, but if I can identify these potential problems, it would be worth having someone with more knowledge review this diagram closely. Jseagull (talk) 14:16, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

This article needs a rewrite, and whoever undertakes the task needs to severely edit down the instances of word links to related articles - eg "cell, cells" - I get it, somewhere there's an article about cells - but I don't need to see the word colored in blue 25 times - it's distracting — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:48, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Suggest add info on human skin permeability[edit]

Suggest adding info about how effective the skin barrier is and why. Skin is composed of a lipid layer in the stratum corneum, and an aqueous layer below the stratum corneum. Substances are usually either water soluble or fat soluble. The skin's lipid layer stops the water soluble substances, the aqueous layer stops fat soluble substances. Thus one skin layer or the other tends to stop most substances. There are dermal drug delivery systems, but it's actually quite difficult to get substances through the skin. Two permeability enhancers sometimes used are PLO (Pluronic Lecithin Organogel), and DMSO (Dimethyl Sulfoxide). More info: [1] [2] (large PDF) Joema 10:41, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Sexual Nature[edit]

Shouldn't there be something in the article about the sexual nature of skin on humans as a secondary sexual characteristic? -Unsigned

yes i think that there should be, because teenagers of my age do not really undersatnd about the skin No, would just imply racism.


I came here hoping to find out a bit more about the texture of skin and what causes the ranges of Texture, I know about the colour but I was hoping to find out more about rough bumby skin compared to the more smoother textures and what causes these variations. Perhaps in a seperate article though I am sure it could fit in here as a section.

I came here also to find out stuff, but I didn't find out what I wanted to...the main functions of epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissues. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:20, 24 January 2010 (UTC)


Shouldn't the lips be mentioned, I thought that was skin too. a special type of skin with no pores or something. Actually I came here to look for the English word for the thick skin that develops if alot of pressure is applied to the skin. Like guitarists have on their fingertips. But that's not mentioned in it either.( 01:16, 27 April 2006 (UTC))

Callus? --Nick Boalch ?!? 01:24, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Subsections of Layers[edit]

I think that the "Layers" section of this article should have three subsections: epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. What are other's thoughts on this? -- 20:12, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Human centric[edit]

This article is very human-centric.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

(After moving section to bottom of page.) You are welcome to add to the article. We do ask that you provide references for any material you add, per Wikipedia:Verifiability, Wikipedia:Reliable sources]] and Wikipedia:Citing sources. -- Donald Albury(Talk) 02:43, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps two articles are needed: one on skin and one on human skin. see Nose and Human nose.JMcC (talk) 20:36, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I think so too. Hence I copyed all stuff that was not about animal skin into the Human skin article (it was just a redirect before).Åkebråke (talk) 19:58, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Layers (continuation)[edit]

I read at the beginning of the article that the skin has 3 primary layers. Then they divide the epidermis and dermis into 8 more layers and state that the Hypodermis is "not part of the skin." ??? This doesn’t make sense. Didgepenguin

Ridiculous statement[edit]

"Skin is considered one of the most important parts of the body." By whom? Which parts of the body are not important?

Appendix. WLU

- re == Ridiculous Statement == . . . get over it - no sheathing to an organism = dead organism - sheesh — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:51, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Variability in Skin Tone[edit]

Does anyone else find it very american centric in how it says african american. I believe that just people of african ancestry would be more sensitive to us who aren't american.Squall1991 09:53, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Being from Canada with the heavy US influence that that entials, I'm nervous uncertain about how to refer to black/african/african american people without being considered racist or offending someone, though I totally admit that my contributions on this regard have been very 'Americanized'. Is there an international standard? Also, it's important to be careful in that not all people living in Africa are black, I don't know how obvious it needs to be about referring to historical/anthropological classification and times. WLU 17:49, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
'Sub-Saharan African' is one way to exclude the light-skinned peoples of northern Africa, but that still includes the Khoisan peoples of southern Africa, and has it's own history of misuse. 'Black' my be the most neutral term available, although it is not baggage-free either. -- Donald Albury 15:02, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

The photo collage is better than nothing but isn't great for comparing skin tones because it's a collection of mostly poor quality photos with differing light conditions and backgrounds. The differing racial characteristics of the faces also distract from the subject of skin. It would be nice to have a single, well-lit photo showing only the hands or arms of a group of people who have differing skin tones. -- 20:18, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

do not merge[edit]

epidermis is a cell in skin! -- 04:36, 8 January 2007 (UTC) aka tearfate (lazy login)

epidermis is not a cell in skin, it is a layer of the integument (skin) consisting of many cells and many layers within itself. therefore, epidermis should be discussed in the skin page, instead of skin being discussed in the epidermis article. Whether this is what the person of who suggested the merge intended or not, skin should NOT be merged into the epidermis article, the epidermis should be merged into the skin. Dr. Payne 20:06, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Epidermis is a layer of the skin. This article would be far too long if all the content from epidermis were to merged into it. This article should cover all the areas briefly with more detail in epidermis, dermis etc. From reading the epidermis talk page the merger suggestion seems to come from the idea that this is too human-centric. I don't see how merging would help. Secretlondon 00:20, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Whoever thinks that the epidermis is a skin cell needs to review their textbooks. While they are not exactly the same thing (the epidermis is just a layer of the skin), they are obviously related. It would be important to mention that there is another related article, as Wiki tends to do. FrameLA 01:18, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

NO- of course it shouldn't be merged. any more than the other layers of skin should be merged. It would be rediculous for them to have their own articles and epidermis not to. 00:11, 20 April 2007 (UTC)amyanda2000

do merge[edit]

Epidermis is part of the skin, it should be put as a subdivision under sub-layers, as well as dermis and hypodermis.

Cutaneous folds[edit]

There needs to be an article on cutaneous folds. Gringo300 06:11, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

"Epidermis" section.[edit]

The "epidermis" section needs a cleanup. The subsections "components" and "layers" basically restate what's already said in the main section of "epidermis". Opinions? PoisonedQuill 21:04, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

It looks to me like a lot of work to be done. I suggest that "Layers" gets placed before "Epidermis", and that "Sublayers" is part of "Epidermis". Also, "Dermis", "Papillary region", "Reticular region", and the "Structure" part of "Dermis" need to be rewritten so that the latter three sections are part of "Dermis". 914ian915 (talk) 23:20, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

The hypocutis is not the location of the basement membrane. The basement membrane lies at the junction of the epidermis and the dermis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:39, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Introduction section[edit]

I was just browsing through this article and it seems like it needs a bit of work. The first thing i noticed was the introduction, it has too much information that should be elsewhere. Such as the comments on skin cancer that should really be in a dedicated section. -27May07

Help! I need to no the four skkin cells. e-mail back

Article format[edit]

05-July-2007: I agree about reorganizing the overall article, and began shifting some sections. The organizing principle is: definition of subjects first, then descriptions of purpose/impact or history, and finally micro-definitions near the end. Several Wikipedia articles start by defining the subject, then delve deep into micro-definitions before describing other aspects of a subject. For example, an article about car "license plates" shouldn't immediately define the license-tag format of all nations on earth after the intro section, but rather cover the purpose, impact & history of automobile tags before stating micro-definitions. I'm trying to assess the "medical-book" nature of the article, versus a layman's view of skin as a subject. I suspect the subject of "skin" is a potential monster that overwhelms Wiki users as a burn-out topic, before it becomes organized, or even gains some adequate source footnotes. -Wikid77 16:47, 5 July 2007 (UTC)


Before Sex Get Latex Condoms ??? what this supposed to mean, i think that this article needs some wikification...-- 21:45, 8 July 2007 (UTC)


Cutaneous redirects here but the word isn't mentioned in the text so one can't tell what "Cutaneous" means. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) on 2007-07-19T03:02:00

Italic textCutaneous means something is related to the skin --James 15:50, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Added that to the article. Not sure about wording and place. --saimhe 16:26, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Main beginning paragraphs[edit]

Sorry, does the bit before the Content box have a name on Wikipedia? The skin article is beginning to look very good, if you want to know about humans, but I am sorry to say that it still needs a lot of work. First of all, the first section should be about defining skin in an enclyclopedic way, with an indication of the ranges of the word, such as geographic range, time ranges etc. Thus the skin article should have the stuff it starts with, for the first paragraph or so, then go on to express the basic types of skin in different animals and basic differences in function, to be discussed later.

What should NOT be there, at this point is the article about oily skin etc. That section, which need to go elsewhere, or even into a different article, needs a definition or link to DHT- I honestly don't know what that is and I am sure I'm not alone.

IceDragon64 14:58, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree - I've removed the para about oily skin (below), since it a) doesn't belong in an intro about skin in general, b) no supporting refs, linked rather to a commercial site, c) there had been more than one query in discussion pages about the misplacement of detailed info in intro...
"The use of natural or synthetic cosmetics to treat the appearance of the face and condition of the skin (such as pore control and black head cleansing) is common among many cultures. Oily skin is caused by hormonal fluctuations. This leads to a DHT sensitivity. This abnormal sensitivity causes the skin to lose moisture and essential fatty acids (linoleic acid in particular). When thousands of skin cells die the skin compensates for this loss of moisture by producing higher levels of oil.[1]
Oily skin can be cleaned quickly with a mild solution of detergent,[2] when pure bath soaps fail (see below: Hygiene). Afterward, body lotions could be used to recondition cleansed skin,[2] as would be used to treat dry skin."
Mjmcm (talk) 00:01, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

My objection to the first paragraph is more about dumbing it down. I realize your information needs to be said, but it doesn't need to be said in the paragraph the general public read. The idea is to start at man on the street speak and gradually end up PHD in the subject. Starting at college level isn't fair. Let me give you an example. Find someone who is a Computer CEO, or a Physics Engineer, or the Chef. All of them are professionals. I bet not a one could make it through that first paragraph without a frown or a pause. (Being pompous breeds, they'd never ask). Here's a try at a more john doe style:

  • Skin is a soft outer covering of an animal, in particular a vertebrate. Other animal coverings such as the seashell (arthropod exoskeleton) have different developmental origin, structure and chemical composition. In mammals, the skin is the largest organ of the membrane system made up of multiple layers of ectodermal tissue, and it guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs.[1]

I'm not sure I got some of those translations right. I had to look them up. I'm pretty well read and can actually make out what "arthropod exoskeleton" means, but nobody who isn't reading a book a week, or in the medical field will recognize it. deepsack (talk) 00:51, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Suggestions for content/links[edit]

Skin, as defined here is only on animals, so we need to have sections, however small, on the different animal types, with links to fur, hair and scales. Somewhere in this article should be things like funtional differences eg. armour/protection; camouflage; sense of touch; wings of different types made of skin eg Flying Lizards, bats etc. Brief articles, with links, that show what skin is 'about'and what there is to know elsewhere on Wikipedia and how to get there, should be what a major article on skin should be, not infinate details of the skin of one species. Most of this info is great material, it just needs to go off to a page called human skin. Other animals do not have skin as described in a lot of this article. Its great that we can make pages about whatever we like, so nothing need be lost if we think people really excpect to find it in an encyclopedia; this stuff about the exact layers in human skin etc is good and is something to be proud of, but as I came here to learn about scales, hoping to find out how scales related to other animal skins etc, I am sure you can imagine I was dissappointed. Sorry to have piled up requests without doing stuff, but at least I hope I have given inspiration.

IceDragon64 15:16, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

rm of suspicious spam[edit]

An anonymous IP address submitted the following in the == Aging == section:

There are [ skin brushing and hygiene techniques] that focus on skin brushing and other alternative medicines to remove dead cells on surface and activate micro blood circulation and lower lymphatic gland activity. The skin rebuild, bringing back new cells with greater elasticity and tone. New cells being in place at a facter pace, the skin retreives it's place as a major organ in the body which brings other health advantages.

This sounded too much like an ad so I reverted it. The link is definitely inappropriate as a source. If this topic is to be added, it should be sourced using independent sources and re-written in an encyclopedic tone. The same editor made a similar edit to Acne vulgaris, which I also reverted. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 14:56, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Can someone please tell me where in Baton Rouge, Louisiana can you find a Jafra consultant? It's about skin care, and my grandmother needs to find one since her former Jafra consultant was tired of mailing it to her. If you read and answer this, I would really appreciate your help! Alpha296 01:13, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Bad form[edit]

Regarding Image:RaceMugshots.jpg in section "Variability in skin tone".

I think it is bad form that these faces are published here at Wikipedia. Have they even been convicted yet? What if some of them are acquitted, can't they then sue Wikipedia for slander? Were they asked if they wanted to have their faces in Wikipedia or not?

What about the "black female, wanted for interference with child custody"? Of course she wanted her child back, that is only human. And then she gets her face placed on Wikipedia among wanted murderers?

A much better alternative would be to collect some photos of Wikipedians that agree/want to have their faces in the articles.

I think it also creates a legal problem for editors from some countries. I think I am not allowed to edit and save the articles that contain this image (unless I remove it) since I live in the EU where we do have privacy laws.

--David Göthberg 13:30, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Illogical section "Skin components"[edit]

The skin components section only talks about meanin and doesn't even list the others. An idea would be to merge this section into the "skin layers" section 01:41, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Stretch Marks From Doing Push-ups[edit]

I am a 20 year old male who did some push-ups recently. My chest muscles grew a bit bigger but I developed stretch marks on my shoulders. Does anybody know why that happened? My doctor does not know. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:41, 21 November 2007 (UTC)


WHO CARES ABOUT SKIN. BLACK OR WHITE, WHO CARES? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:26, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Adolph Hitler (talk) 15:03, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Medicine/Dermatology task force[edit]

I wanted to know if you (or any friends of yours) are interested in dermatology, and would be willing to help me with the WikiProject Medicine/Dermatology task force? kilbad (talk) 04:44, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

The trouble with major expansions[edit]

I've reverted this article to the version that was present about six weeks ago, before the "expansion" started that left it with only five sentences in it.

Kilbad, I'd like to suggest that you work on the new and improved version in your userspace until you've got time to get it into the ideal shape. I know it's a lot of work and that you've got a vision for the page's future: my point is just to have a more complete article available to the reader while you're working on it. (Please also note that this is Skin, not merely Skin (human), so the final version shouldn't exclude non-human animals.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:41, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Skin type[edit]

Two things. First, Skin type should be merged here. It is a stub mentioning hairy and glabrous skin only, in no detail.

Second, the table in this article under Skin type heading is problematic. I can't check the source, as it's not online, but does it really say that "Rarely burns, always tans" is "olive skinned" and "South European"? Cos I'm English and that's my "skin type"... the categorisation also ignores most ethnic groups, and lumps "African" into one, as though the whole continent is homogeneous. The original source is the Fitzpatrick skin type scale, e.g. [3]

  • Type I (very white or freckled) - Always burn
  • Type II (white) - Usually burn
  • Type III (white to olive) - Sometimes burn
  • Type IV (brown) - Rarely burn
  • Type V (dark brown) - Very rarely burn
  • Type VI (black) - Never burn

I've deleted the geographic indicators, as they strike me as OR. Fences and windows (talk) 03:09, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I support your proposed merger, and support your cleanup of the Fitzpatrick scale. Thank you for your help with dermatology-related content. kilbad (talk) 15:13, 15 April 2009 (UTC)



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Section needs rephrasing: skin#Hygiene and skin care[edit]

The Hygiene and skin care section in heavy on "advice". This should be either removed or reasons should be added in a rephrasing. Example: People with oily skin should use a moisturizer with humectants and a clay masques containing bentonite clay twice a week. Why? What is the effect? Are similar products available/efficient? Is this the only method used to create the desired effect? Are there any truly independent and reliable sources for this? (talk) 17:36, 4 June 2009 (UTC) asdf

I second that. The 1st cited link is more advertisement than fact. The site itself notes that it should not be used as a formal source. Show us the papers supporting these claims please. This is wikipedia, not an advertisement site. I say remove any rubbish that isn't supported with good science (i.e. p<.01 preferably, good design, reputable dermatology journals, etc). Also remember that correlation does not necessitate causation when interpreting the papers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:49, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Need to develop "Human uses and culture"[edit]

The section "Human uses and culture" needs development. Tatoos, colour of skin, flaying, use of skin in Necropants (see Wikipedia_Signpost of 25 October 2010's In the news]) besides others. AshLin (talk) 03:01, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Skin renewal[edit]

I've heard that for human skin, a 3 hour period, from 10pm-1am or 11pm-2am, is the time when skin cell renewal and regeneration is greatest during sleep. Is this true? Are there any medical studies showing evidence for it? And if it is true, which one is the correct period? 10pm-1am or 11pm-2am? Wsmss (talk) 14:14, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Wrong facts in article.[edit]

The following is wrong.

"The skin on the palms and the soles of the feet is 4 mm thick and the thickest skin in the body."

The palms and soles don't have the thickest skin in the body. The skin in this areas is called "thick skin" because it has a thick epidermal layer, not because it is actually "thick".

The thickest skin is actually on the upper back.

I repeat, the terms "thick" and "thin" skin don't relate to the metric thickness of the skin (epidermis + dermis) but the thickness of the epidermal layer.

  1. ^ "Why Me, Why Now?", 2007, webpage: [4].
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference Hcare was invoked but never defined (see the help page).