How many square feet of skin does the body contain?

It is estimated that there are from fourteen to eighteen square feet of skin on the average adult human body. One investigator placed the figure as high as twenty square feet. Of course, the surface area of the body, which is practically equivalent to the number of square feet of skin, varies with sex, age, height and weight of the individual. Obviously the body of a tall, thin person might have a much greater surface area than the body of a short, fat person who has the same weight. The most common method of obtaining “the surface area of the body is complicated and involves many factors,, but charts have been devised whereby it can be estimated with a high degree of accuracy if the individual’s sex, age, height and weight are known. One method of computing the number of square inches of skin is by pasting over the nude body a special kind of very thin but strong paper that adheres closely to curved surfaces. The paper is first dried, then removed, cut into small pieces and measured. The thickness of the skin of the human body varies considerably. It is thicker over the back than it is over the breast. One investigator says the skin averages one-sixth of an inch on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet and only one-fiftieth of an inch on the eyelids.