Medicine (MD/DO)
Anatomy & Embryology
Integumentary Tissues
Skin Anatomy

Master Skin Anatomy with Picmonic for Medicine

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Skin Anatomy

Recommended Picmonics

picmonic thumbnail
Skin Functions
picmonic thumbnail
Neural Crest Derivatives
picmonic thumbnail
Actinic Keratosis
picmonic thumbnail
Sickle Cell Anemia (Signs and Complications)
picmonic thumbnail
Fetal Circulation

Skin Anatomy

The skin is the primary barrier dividing the inside and outside of the body. It is divided into three layers, each with different functions and components.The outside layer is the epidermis, which consists of many different cell types. The primary cells are keratinocytes which are barrier cells and protect against damage from pathogens, heat, ultraviolet radiation, water loss, and other environmental conditions. The skin gets its color from melanocytes, which are found at the bottom of the epidermis and produce melanin. Dendritic cells are the third major group of epidermis cells. They act as messengers between the innate and active immune systems by presenting antigens from foreign cells for immune response. The fourth major group in the epidermis is the Merkel cells, which are associated with the sense of touch and discrimination of shapes and textures.The middle layer of the skin is the dermis, which is a thick layer of connective tissue that buffers stress and strain on the body. The sweat glands are located here and assist in the process of thermoregulation by secreting water which evaporates from the skin. Hair follicles have roots in the dermis layer and extend up to the surface of the skin. The hair and skin are lubricated and waterproofed by sebaceous glands, which release a waxy and oily substance onto the skin. The sebaceous glands are found mostly in the face and scalp, but are present everywhere except the palms and soles.The deepest layer of skin is the hypodermis, also known as the subcutaneous layer, which is filled with connective tissue that connects the skin to the skeleton. Adipose tissue is usually found in this layer.

The epidermis is the outside layer of the skin, typically associated with preventing damage to the body.


Keratinocytes are barrier cells that protect the body from environmental damage. The damage can come from pathogens, UV radiation, heat, water loss and other external conditions.


The skin gets its color from melanocytes, which are found at the bottom of the epidermis and produce melanin. Melanin also helps protect the body from UV radiation.

Dendritic Cells
Dreadlocks Cell

Dendritic cells are antigen-presenting immune cells located in the epidermis that activate the adaptive immune response.

Merkel Cells

Merkel cells are involved in the body's sensation to touch and determination of shapes and textures of objects.


The dermis is the middle layer of the skin, which consists of connective tissue to reduce strain and stress on the body.

Sweat Glands
Sweaty Gland

Sweat glands are located in the dermis, and they secrete water to help the body decrease temperature during fever, exercise or stress.

Hair Follicles
Hair Follicles

Hair follicles are rooted in the dermis, but extend all the way up to the epidermis. Hair follicles assist in thermoregulation.

Sebaceous Glands

The sebaceous glands secrete a waxy and oily substance onto the hair and skin, which provides a waterproofing as well as a lubricant.


The hypodermis is composed of connective tissue that attaches the skin to the skeleton. It is one of the locations of adipose tissue storage.


Take the Skin Anatomy Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Ace Your Medicine (MD/DO) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 1,900,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Medicine (MD/DO) student study app.

Picmonic for Medicine (MD/DO) covers information that is relevant to your entire Medicine (MD/DO) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, COMLEX Level 1, or COMLEX Level 2, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Medicine (MD/DO) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.