A layer referring to the basal cell layer of epidermis, which is a single layer of tall, simple columnar epithelial cells that lies at the base of the epidermis, or above the dermis.
The cells of this layer are actively dividing to provide new cells to replenish lost skin from normal shedding. This layer has many melanocytes, or melanin-producing cells that account for the pigmentation of skin and hair.
Synonyms: basal cell layer, stratum basale epidermidis, stratum basale.
Compare: stratum corneum, stratum lucidum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum.
See also: epidermis, Malpighian layer.