Is the skin a tissue or an organ? Click here and find out the answer to this and other questions!
When we study the levels of organization of the human body, we learn that several cells grouped together and that perform the same function in the organism are called tissue. These tissues, in turn, can be grouped, forming a structure responsible for a specific function in a given system. This structure, formed by several tissues, is called an organ. Given these important definitions, a question arises: Is the skin a tissue or an organ?
→ Is the skin a tissue or an organ?
The skin, despite its appearance, is an organ, not a tissue as many think. It consists of two main layers, the epidermis and the dermis, which, in turn, are formed by different tissues. Therefore, the skin is an organ because it is made up of more than one tissue.
It is worth mentioning that the skin has a very impressive characteristic: it is the most extensive organ in our body. Studies reveal that 15% of all our body weight comes from the skin. In adults, this organ can weigh up to 10 kilograms.
The skin consists of two basic layers: the epidermis and the dermis
The skin has multiple functions, being of vital importance for our survival. Among the main functions attributed to it, we can mention the protection of our organism, perception of stimuli , elimination of some products of our metabolism and the temperature control through the release of the sweat produced by the sweat glands.
→ The tissues that form the skin
The skin is made up of two layers, the outermost layer called the epidermis and the innermost layer called the dermis. In the epidermis, we find tissue of the epithelial type, which is formed mainly by cells called keratinocytes. It is in this layer that we find the cells responsible for the production of melanin, a pigment that gives color to the skin and protects the organism from the sun’s rays.
Just below the epidermis, we find the dermis, which is formed by connective tissue. This layer is responsible for ensuring elasticity to the skin, in addition to being the place where nerves, blood vessels, hair follicles and glands are present, the latter two structures being derived from the epidermis, but present in this layer.
Below the dermis is the hypodermis, a tissue that is not part of the skin, but ensures that the dermis is attached to organs and that the skin slides more easily on the surface on which it is resting. The hypodermis is formed by loose connective tissue.