Breaking in gently

5th December 2003 at 00:00
Although the skin is waterproof, other substances can permeate the epidermis. Skin patches have been around since the 1970s - for instance, to help people quit smoking in nicotine replacement therapy. But gels that introduce drugs through the skin are also available. These techniques use an alcohol base to deliver substances into the bloodstream - hormones or painkillers, for example. Oil-based cosmetic creams can only penetrate the outer layers of the epidermis, and so have no effect on the living cells deep beneath the skin surface.

Did you know?

* Dermis is the Greek word for skin

* For every square inch of skin you have:10 hairs;100 sweat glands; 1m blood vessels

* Skin sheds between 30,000 and 40,000 cells a minute (cells pictured below)

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today