How thick is human skin?

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This was asked of me by a friend whose son wants to know how thick his skin is. It’s a great question but the answer is not quite as simple as you might think!

The human body is covered in skin, so there’s quite a lot of it around. Your skin is your biggest and heaviest organ and it makes up about 16% of your whole body weight!

Skin is made up of three layers: the top layer (or outer layer) is called the ‘epidermis’; the middle layer is the ‘dermis’; and the bottom (or inside) layer is the ‘subcutaneous tissue’.

And skin has a number of important jobs to do – for example, it protects your body from infection by viruses, bacteria and other organisms; it helps to keep your body at the right temperature; and it stops all your insides from falling out!

On average, human skin is 2-3mm thick but different parts of the body have thicker skin than others. For example, the palms of your hands and soles of your feet have the thickest skin, whilst your eyelids have the thinnest skin.

Your body makes new skin cells every day. Old skin cells get rubbed off from the very top (outside) of your epidermis and are replaced by new ones that have grown underneath. This is one of the ways in which your skin is able to heal itself after being cut or grazed.

If you want to know more about skin, check out these interesting skin facts

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