Epidermis (noun, “Eh-pi-DER-miss”)
This is the outermost layer of your skin. Epidermis is a combination of two Greek words: “epi,” meaning “over,” and “derma,” meaning “skin.” The epidermis is made of two main groups of cells. The outer group is composed of layers of flattened cells. The inner group is called a “basal” layer and has cells arranged at a right angle to the flattened layer. Between the two layers, there’s a pigment layer that gives our skin its color. Beneath the epidermis is the dermis — a thicker layer that helps cushion our bodies from everyday bumps and jabs.
The epidermis may seem thin, but it protects the body from germs we might encounter. It also helps to make sure our watery bodies don’t dry out. This shield between you and the world is constantly regrowing. Old skin cells are shed and new ones are added — making sure our body’s first line of defense is up to date.
In a sentence
When a person gets a tattoo, the needle goes through the epidermis to inject ink into the dermis below.
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