Skin Glossary


Autoimmune        Autoimmune diseases occur because of the immune system attacking the body’s own organs, tissues and cells

Collagenous Fibers Collagenous fibers are a family of extracellular closely related collagen proteins occurring as a major component of connective tissue, giving it strength and flexibility        

Diffusion                 Diffusion is a spontaneous movement of particles in a liquid from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration

Elastin                      Elastin is a highly elastic protein in connective tissue that allows many tissues in the body to return to their original shape after stretching or contracting

Epithelial Tissue     Epithelial tissue is a sheet of cells that covers a body surface or lines a body cavity. Two forms occur in the human body: covering and lining – forms the outer layer of the skin, lines cavities and covers the walls of organs; glandular – surrounding glands

Free Radicals         Free radicals are atoms, molecules or ions that have an unpaired valence electron. With some exceptions, these unpaired electrons make free radicals highly chemically reactive towards other substances, which can cause the disruption of living cells. Free radical damage accumulates with age

Glycoproteins        Glycoproteins are any class of conjugated proteins consisting of a protein compound with a carbohydrate group

Hydrocortisone     Hydrocortisone is a steroid that prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation

Interdigitate           Interdigitate is to become interlocked like fingers and folded arms

Keratinized Layer Keratinized epithelium refers to an outer layer of skin cells that has become hardened and died. This layer protects the tissues that lie underneath and it prevents certain substances from passing into or out of the tissue below

Lipids                     Lipids are molecules that contain hydrocarbons and make up the building blocks of the structure and function of living cells

Lymphatic Vessels Lymphatic vessels filter and transport fluid away from tissues before returning the fluid to the blood stream

Mucopolysaccharides  Mucopolysaccharides or glycosaminoglycans are long unbranched polysaccharides consisting of a repeating disaccharide unit. The repeating unit consists of an amino sugar along with a uronic sugar. Glycosaminoglycans are highly polar and attract water. Chondroitin sulphate and hyaluronic acid are both mucopolysaccharides 

Reticular Fibers    Reticular fibers are a type of fiber in connective tissue composed of Type III collagen secreted by reticular cells

Subcutaneous Tissue  Subcutaneous tissue is the deepest layer of human skin. It is responsible for regulating body temperature and also protects the inner organs and bones