What Is the Difference Between the Upper and Lower Epidermis?

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The skin is made up of three layers, including the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. While there are technically no upper and lower epidermises, these terms are often used in place of epidermis and dermis. Each layer of skin is highly specialized and serves many functions.

The epidermis consists of a very thin layer of skin. This layer is responsible for making new skin cells, producing melanin or color and protecting the body, as the American Academy of Dermatology reports. At the very bottom or lower portion of the epidermis, new skin cells are made. The top or surface of the epidermis is comprised of special cells that protect the body and ward off infection.

The second layer of skin, the dermis, is thicker than the epidermis. This layer is responsible for making sweat, growing hair and making oil. This portion of the skin is also home to nerve endings and blood vessels, according to WebMD.

The hypodermis or subcutaneous fat layer is made up of special connective tissues, which help adhere the skin to muscle and bone. This layer is also responsible for regulating body temperature and storing fat, says the American Academy of Dermatology.