Skin cells work by forming a protective layer on the body to shield it from microbes, protect it from the elements and allow the nervous system to detect sensations such hot and cold. Together, the cells of the skin combine to amass an amount of 20 square feet. There are three basic layers of the skin, including the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermis.
The epidermis layer of the skin is the outermost layer and provides protection for the body. It is also where the melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin pigment, are located. Most cells in the epidermis are known as keratinocytes, which originate from the basal layer of the epidermis and migrate upward to the surface. These cells are shed regularly and replaced with newer ones.
The dermis layer of the skin gives it strength and flexibility, and it contains glands, follicles, nerve endings and blood vessels. These structures vary in number, depending on where on the body the skin is located.
Beneath the dermis is the fatty layer of skin, which is composed of fat cells. The function of these cells and layer of skin is to insulate the body from extreme temperatures, provide cushion and store energy.