What is the epidermis, and what does it consist of?
The epidermis is your skin.
The epidermis is the term used to refer to the skin as a whole, including all of its layers.
There are five main layers which can also be referred to as strata:
the stratum corneum, stratum lucidium, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum, and the stratum basale.
The stratum corneum is the tough outer layer of the skin.
The stratum lucidium is the thin, clear layer of dead skin cells.
The stratum granulosum is a layer of granular nondividing cells.
The stratum spinosum is a layer of the epidermis found between the stratum granulosum and stratum basale. Their spiny appearance is due to shrinking of the microfilaments between desmosomes that occurs when stained with H&E.
The stratum basale is the base of the epidermis, the very bottom.
The epidermis also contains other cells such as keratinocytes, melanocytes, Langerhans cells, and Merkel cells.