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Skin Cell (Keratinocyte)

Skin Cell (Keratinocyte)

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Beauty may only be skin deep, but your skin is more than just a pretty face: it’s your largest organ, and your first line of protection against the outside world!

  • An amusing, and memorable, reminder to wear sunscreen
  • A unique dermatologist gift item

All About Skin Cell (Keratinocyte)
DESCRIPTION Skin cells are the outermost layer of protection for the body. The skin protects against pathogens and excessive water loss. It maintains a constant temperature by sweating when necessary, and it has nerve endings for sensing touch. This is a nice gift for a dermatologist, teacher, or anybody interested in anatomy!
NAME Keratinocytes get their name because they produce the protein Keratin, and –cyte is the ending indicating that it is a “cell.” The same construction is true for Melanocytes, which make melanin. Merkel cells and Langerhans cells are named after the scientists that discovered them.

Keratinocytes: are the skin cells on the outermost layer, the ones that we see. They produce keratin, a protein that helps to strengthen the barrier.

Melanocytes: produce melanin, the pigment of the skin.

Merkel Cells: help you sense touch.

Langerhans Cells: work to protect the body against pathogens. To help the immune system, they bind to antigens that try to come through the skin.
ACTUAL SIZE 30 microns, comparable to the diameter of the finest pieces of human hair.
SYSTEM Integumentary System: protects the body from damage.
HISTORY 1868: Paul Langerhans was the first to describe Langerhans cells. Only later was their immune role recognized.

1875: Friedrich Sigmund Merkel, a German scientist, was the first to describe touch cells, later named Merkel cells, in the skin of vertebrates.
FASCINATING FACTS Dead Skin: You shed between 30,000-40,000 skin cells every minute!

Self-Renewal: Skin renews itself once every 35 days.

Skin is the largest organ in the body!

In Culture:
Skin: a stage name for Deborah Anne Dryer who is the lead singer of the British band Skunk Anansie.

Skin: a 2008 movie about a black girl with two white Afrikaner parents.

Skin: a song by Rihanna on her 2010 album “Loud.”

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