The stratum spinosum is a layer of
skin located within the epidermis.
The skin is also known as the "integument", or "integumentary system".
More specifically, the stratum spinosum is a layer of the epidermis (outer-skin) that consists of 8-10 layers of many-sided (as opposed to flat, e.g. as in the stratum granulosum) keratinocytes. These keratinocytes in the stratum spinosum have spine-like projections, hence the name of this layer:
“Spinosum” means “thorn-like, or prickly”.
Other components of the stratum spinosum include Langerhans cells and some projections of melanocytes.
To view the location of the stratum spinosum layer relative to the other key components of the skin see the diagram of the structure of the skin. This may be of particular interest to students of courses in massage, reflexology, beauty therapies, and other health science or clinical courses.