The Encyclopedia of Henna
Stratum Corneum: 
What is your skin made of, and how is it made? 
Catherine Cartwright Jones c 2003 
Kent State University

Your skin is your body's largest organ.  It keeps your body's moisture inside your body so you don't die of dehydration. 

The stratum corneum is the outermost membrane of your skin. Your skin also keeps injurious exogenous agents (fancy word for the "crud and stuff") outside the body where they won't do you harm.  If your stratum corneum is removed (such as happens in a bad burn), your underlying living tissue has a miserable time of it, getting infections and scabbing over. If you don't have a stratum corneum, you're in big trouble, like a jellyfish washed up on the beach! 

The stratum corneum is made of keratin, the same protein that makes hair, fingernails, horn, hooves and turtle shells. On some parts of your body, the stratum corneum is very thick, and on other parts it is thin. 

The thickest skin is on your heels, where the stratum corneum averages 86 layers of cells deep. 
The thinnest skin is on your penis, if you have one, where the stratum corneum is only 6 layers of cells deep. 


"Number of Cell Layers of the Stratum Corneum in Normal Skin - relationship to the anatomical location on the body, age, sex and physical parameters"
Zhen Ya-Xian, Takaki Suetake, Hachiro Tagani
Archive of Dermatology Research, 1999, Issue 291: 555-559; Springer-Verlag, 1999

"Skin, the Human Fabric"
Doug Podolsky, US News Books, Washington DC, 1982

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*"Henna, the Joyous Body Art" 
the Encyclopedia of Henna
Catherine Cartwright-Jones c 2000 
registered with the US Library of Congress
TXu 952-968