The skin can be divided into three basic layers - epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous layer.
The superficial portion of the skin is called the epidermis, and a deeper portion is called the dermis. The epidermis is built from keratinized, flattened epithelium, which creates protective and waterproof barriers for underlying tissues. The dermis consists of connective tissue providing elasticity and is a home for many structural components like hair, glands, and vessels.
Under the dermis is the last layer, called the subcutaneous layer. It is not really part of the skin; however, it provides an anchor for the dermis and connects the skin to the underlying connective tissue around muscles and bones.
Based on the location, skin can be thin or thick. Thin skin covers most body regions, and its epidermis has only four layers. Thick skin occurs in places where exposure to friction is greatest (fingerprints, palms, soles), and its epidermis has five layers.
Figure 1. Cross section of a skin sample showing basic skin layers and their internal structures.