Skin Layers Anatomy for Kids: A Close-Up Look With Pictures

3 Skin Layers Diagram - Epidermis, Dermis, Hypodermis

Although your skin might seem thin, your body is wrapped up 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 under your skin. Just like a triple tier cake, your skin has 3 layers of goodies inside. Each strand of hair is like a candle on top!

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 skin

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, and it’s waterproof, too! Just like a jacket, it protects your skin from rain and sun.
  • WORKS LIKE A FACTORY – Everyday, 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

What Does the Middle Skin Layer (Dermis) Do?

The dermis is your skin’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 – Next to your hair follicles are oil glands that that make a sticky, waxy material called sebum. 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 pore and cause painful pimples.
  • 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 what’s 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

Now we’ve reached the deepest skin layer, the hypodermis. Since “hypo” means “under”, this word literally means “under the dermis”. Filled with fat and connective tissue, the bottom later of skin has 2 main jobs:

  • CUSHIONS YOUR BODY – Fat acts like padding to protects 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 your body, the fat under your skin gives you fuel for every move you make.

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? Here’s a list of important parts of each skin layer:

Skin Layers Anatomy Diagram - Labeled
  • EPIDERMIS:
    • Keratinocytes
    • Melanocytes
  • DERMIS:
    • Nerves
    • Hair follicles
    • Oil glands
    • Sweat glands
    • Blood vessels
  • HYPODERMIS:
    • Fat
    • Connective tissue

Layers of Skin Questions: Can You Guess the Answers?

skin pores and hair

The epidermis, the top layer, is your skin’s thinner layer.

dermis middle skin layer close up

The dermis, the middle layer, is your skin’s thickest layer.

thin eyelid skin

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

feet have the thickest skin in the human body

Compared to other parts of your body, your feet have the thickest skin.

Learn More About Your Amazing Body!


Updated on September 9, 2022 Reviewed by Betty Choi, MD

Updated on September 9, 2022

Reviewed by Betty Choi, MD