The Skin

Before we address the aetiology of pressure ulcers/ injuries it is important to understand the structure and functions of healthy skin.

Skin Anatomy

The skin is the largest organ in the body covering an area of almost two square meters and is made up of three layers, the epidermis, dermis and the hypodermis or subcutaneous tissue. Its thickness is between≤ 0,1mm at its thinnest part such as the eyelids to 1.5 mm on its thickest part palms and soles of the feet (Kolarsick et al, 2011)


The main functions of the skin are:

– Protection

– Thermoregulation

– Sensation

– Excretion

– Metabolism/Absorption