How Many Layers of Skin Do You Have?

Your skin might seem thin, but it wraps up your body in powerful layers of protection from head to toe. If you’ve ever had a cut, blister, or sunburn, you’ve already had a peek inside your skin anatomy. Just like a triple-tier cake, your skin has 3 layers of goodies inside. Each strand of hair is like a candle on top! Let’s learn what’s inside a skin anatomy diagram!

3 Skin Layers Diagram  for kids - Epidermis, Dermis, Hypodermis
Skin layers anatomy diagram

What does your skin do?

Your skin has a lot of different jobs! Here are just a few:

  • It protects your body.
  • It keeps your body temperature just right.
  • It helps you feel and touch things.

What are the 3 layers of human skin?

  • EPIDERMIS – the top skin layer
  • DERMIS – the middle skin layer
  • HYPODERMIS – the bottom skin layer

From outside in, let’s take a close-up look at the anatomy of each skin layer.

3 tier birthday cake like 3 layers of the integumentary system

What does the top skin layer (epidermis) do?

Touch your arm and take a good look at it. The first thing you see is your skin’s surface, which is called the epidermis. Your top skin layer:

  • ACTS LIKE A COAT OF ARMOR – The epidermis keeps germs out of your body. It’s waterproof, too! Just like a jacket, it protects your skin from sun and rain.
  • WORKS LIKE A FACTORY – Every day, your epidermis sheds old, dead skin cells. At the same time, it’s very busy, constantly pushing out brand-new keratin-making cells called keratinocytes. Keratin is a protein that keeps your skin healthy and strong.
  • GIVES YOU COLOR – Your epidermis has special melanin-making cells called melanocytes. Different people have different amounts of melanocytes. That’s why people come in different shades of beige, tan, and brown.
diverse hands with different amounts of melanin

Your fingernails and toenails are also a special part of your epidermis.

What does the middle skin layer (dermis) do?

The dermis is your skin anatomy’s middle layer. It has a lot of important jobs, too! The dermis:

  • HOLDS YOUR HAIR – The roots of your hair are embedded in the dermis.
  • MOISTURIZES YOUR SKIN – Oil glands make a sticky, waxy substance called sebum next to your hair follicles. Sebum makes your skin soft and waterproof. Without sebum, your skin would be too dry. On the other hand, too much sebum can clog your pores and cause painful pimples, especially during puberty.
  • SQUIRTS SWEAT OUT – When you’re hot, the sweat glands in your dermis make a liquid that cools off the surface of your skin. Sweat comes out of your epidermis through sweat pores.
  • STAYS IN TOUCH WITH THE WORLD – Nerve endings in your dermis help you know sharp, smooth, hot, cold, and other interesting sensations. These nerves send messages to your brain.
  • HAS LOTS OF NUTRIENTS – Blood vessels give your skin fresh oxygen, vitamins, and minerals.
waterproof skin thanks to your the oil glands in your dermis

What does the bottom skin layer (hypodermis) do?

fat cells in the hypodermis (subcutaneous tissue)
Fat cells

We’ve reached the deepest layer of your skin anatomy, the hypodermis. Since “hypo” means “under”, this word means “under the dermis”.

Filled with fat and connective tissue, the bottom layer of skin has 2 main jobs:

  • CUSHIONS YOUR BODY – Fat acts like padding to protect muscles, bones, and delicate organs.
  • KEEPS YOU WARM – It’s like a cozy blanket that insulates your body on chilly days.
  • STORES ENERGY – When you exercise, the fat under your skin fuels your every move.

The bottom skin layer also has blood vessels and nerves.

Human skin layers anatomy diagram with labels

Can you find the different parts of the skin in this anatomy diagram? Do you remember the fun facts about each skin layer? Here’s a diagram and a list of the most important parts.

Skin Layers Anatomy Diagram - labeled for kids


  • Keratinocytes
  • Melanocytes



  • Fat
  • Connective tissue

Common questions about skin layers and anatomy

Can you guess the answers?

skin pores and hair

The epidermis, the top layer, is the thinnest part of your skin.

dermis middle skin layer diagram close up

The dermis, the middle layer, is the thickest part of your skin.

thin eyelid skin

Compared to other body parts, your eyelids have the thinnest skin.

feet have the thickest skin in the human body

Your feet have the thickest skin compared to other parts of your body.

Learn more about your amazing body!

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Updated on November 28, 2023 by Betty Choi, MD

Updated on November 28, 2023 by Betty Choi, MD