Skin is the largest and also heaviest body organ of the body. It consists of three main layers; the epidermis, dermis, and also hypodermis. Skin deserve to either be thin or thick. The main distinction is the thickness of the epidermis and dermis, which room the optimal two layers of skin.

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Thin skin covers most of the body and can differ in thinness, v the thinnest skin covering the eyelids. Thick skin is existing on the soles of the feet and also palms the the hands.

In addition to different thicknesses, the skin additionally differs in what is current in the layers. Because that example, thick skin has actually no hair follicles or sebaceous glands, whereas slim skin does.

In this article, we look in ~ the distinctions in appearance, structure, and function of thin and also thick skin.

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Thin skin covers many of the body, except on the soles that the feet and also palms the the hands, and contains fewer cellular layers 보다 thick skin.

The epidermis of slim skin varieties from 0.07–0.15 millimeters (mm). Thin skin have the right to vary in thickness in different parts the the body and also is specifically thin across the eyelids. Thin skin is thickest top top the upper back.

Thin skin likewise contains hair follicles, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands.

Thick skin is current on the soles the the feet and also palms the the hands. This is because these locations receive an ext friction than other locations of the body, and also thicker skin help to protect from potential damage.

The epidermis of thick skin deserve to be as much as 1.5 mm. Thick skin does not contain any kind of hair follicles or sebaceous glands. Special skin additionally contains no arrector chili muscles, which reason goosebumps.

Thick skin is thicker due to it containing an extra class in the epidermis, called the stratum lucidum. Thick skin actually has a thinner dermis layer 보다 thin skin, but is quiet thicker as result of the stratum lucidum layer present in the epidermis.


Thick and also thin skin appear differently under a microscope. Thin skin contains four class in the epidermis, while special skin contains a fifth layer. These layers include:

Stratum basale

The stratum basale, additionally known as the stratum germinativum, is the deepest great of the epidermis. The is the great just over the dermis.

This layer repetitively produces new skin cells. It also contains melanocytes, which room cells that produce skin pigment and help protect the skin from sunlight damage.

Stratum spinosum

The stratum spinosum consists of eight come ten layers of cells. People may refer to the stratum spinosum as the prickle cabinet layer because of the irregular structure of cells, i m sorry look favor spines or prickles.

Stratum granulosum

The stratum granulosum consists of three to five layers that cells. The stratum granulosum includes granules, which space rich in lipids.

Stratum lucidum

Only thick skin contains the stratum lucidum layer. The stratum lucidum is a thin, transparent layer consisting of 2 to three layers the cells. It contains a protein dubbed eleidin.

Stratum corneum

The stratum corneum is the top layer of the epidermis. It is composed of 20–30 great of cells. It includes keratin and also horny scales, which make it tougher and able to thicken right into calluses.

The stratum corneum contains dead keratinocytes, which produce defensins. Defensins space strings the amino mountain that defend the body from infection.

Connecting the dermis and also epidermis are structures dubbed dermal papillae. Dermal papillae are much more prominent in thick skin 보다 thin skin.

Dermal papillae rise the surface ar area between the epidermis and dermis, enabling for an ext oxygen, food, and also waste to pass in between the layers.

Structures present

The adhering to table summarizes the key structural differences between thin and thick skin:

StructuresThin skinThick skin
DermisThicker dermis, can vary depending on area the bodyThinner dermis
EpidermisThinner epidermis, varying from 0.07–0.15 mm. Epidermis consists of 4 layers.Thicker epidermis, varying from 0.8–1.5 mm. Epidermis contains 5 layers.
Sweat glandsContains eccrine sweat glands, and also apocrine sweat glands in the armpits and also groinNo apocrine sweat glands. Only eccrine sweat glands are present in thick skin.
Dermal papillaePresentMore prominent
Sebaceous glandsContains sebaceous glandsNo sebaceous glands
Hair folliclesContains hair folliclesNo hair follicles
Stratum lucidumNo stratum lucidum layerStratum lucidum layer in the epidermis
Stratum corneumThin stratum corneum layerThick stratum corneum layer
Stratum granulosumSingle great of cells4–5 cell thick
Stratum spinosum and also basale layerStratum spinosum is thinnerBoth class are more prominent

Skin in basic has many different functions, such together protection, sensation, and thermoregulation. Both thin and thick skin have properties that allow the skin to duty correctly.

For example, slim skin has hair follicles, i beg your pardon are crucial in producing hair to help regulate temperature and also protect indigenous ultraviolet radiation. Hair follicles also carry out epithelial stem cells, which help repair wounds.

In addition, thin skin consists of sebaceous glands, which produce sebum. Sebum helps to lubricate the skin and also protect versus infections.

Thin skin additionally contains eccrine and also apocrine sweat glands. Sweat glands assist to regulate body temperature by release sweat come cool the body, and also aid to repair skin damage.

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Thick skin gives protection from damage in areas that experience an ext friction and abrasion, such as the palms that the hands and also the soles that the feet. Thick skin likewise contains eccrine sweat glands to help regulate body temperature.