This laboratory is concerned with the identification of the histological features of the integumentary system. It includes a study of the skin (thick and thin varieties), hair, nails, glands (sweat & sebaceous), and specialized nerve endings.

The skin is an organ that provides an external covering of the body. It consists of two major layers, the epidermis and the dermis separated by a basement membrane.

The epidermis is a dry stratified squamous epithelium with keratinized superficial layers. The epidermis is specialized depending upon the functional requirements placed upon the area, and may be used to distinguish between thick skin (palmer and plantar surfaces) and thin skin (body skin). It is a non-vascular layer. Nutrition is achieved by fluid transudation from the dermis.

The dermis (corium) is the subjacent dense bed of vascular connective tissue.

A still deeper layer is the hypodermis. While not part of the skin, it is often described in association with it. This layer contains large amounts of adipose tissue and is referred to as 'superficial fascia' in gross anatomy.