• Question: Is Are Skin Different To Animals Skin?

    Asked by issi2001 to Anil, Blanka, Cees, Emma, Mike on 2 Jul 2012.
    • Photo: Emma Trantham

      Emma Trantham answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      Good question.

      Our skin and other mammals’ skin is made up from the same type of cells. What differs is the number of hair follicles and how thick the skin is. Dogs paws are really thick and tough because they are made up of lots of keratinised skin cells (more than are present on skin like our arms).

      I’m not sure exactly what reptile/amphibian skin is made up of but I would imagine it is pretty similar to ours, just with a few adaptations.

    • Photo: Blanka Sengerova

      Blanka Sengerova answered on 2 Jul 2012:

      I have just read about reptile skin and apparently it differs from human (and other mammalian) skin in a few ways. Unlike our skin, which is living, it is made up a three layers of increasingly compacted keratin, the protein found in our hair and fingernails (and in things such as dog’s claws) and which is effectively a dead layer.

      Reptile skin has no hair follicles, which means the associated infections (pimples and such like) cannot happen, but the downside is that repair of the skin taken much longer than for us humans. As you might know from the zoo, reptiles will shed their skin and then regrow it again, which is the one time when the skin is growing.