How the skin functions

The skin is the largest vital organ of the human body. It is important you know how the skin functions. It covers you up, keeps you warm and keeps you cool. It also decides what can be absorbed and what should be rejected. Can you imagine how we would look if we do not have skin covering us up? That may be too gross for our imagination.

Skin that is clogged and unhealthy is not just a beauty problem. It can become a hindrance to your sense of vitality and wellness. Proper care of your skin is important not only to your personal sense of beauty but also to proper elimination, more graceful aging and overall health.

Here are the main skin functions:

  • It acts as a mechanical barrier to infections. It ultimately prevents microorganisms and other substances from entering the body.
  • Langerhans cells (a type of macrophage) are found within the dermis, they engulf invaders foreign to the body and debris.
  • Keratin layers in the epidermis together with sebum produced by sebaceous glands act as a waterproof barrier.
  • Melanocytes protect the body from ultraviolet light.
  • Finger and toe nails protect the extremities of fingers and toes from damage. Fingertips are important for dexterity and the sense of touch; they have ridged areas to assist in picking things up.
  • Hair follicles offer some extra protection to certain parts of the body such as eyes and head.
  • Regulating the body temperature is on top of the list of important skin functions. Considerable heat is lost through the skin. Even under extreme conditions of high temperature and exercise, our skin tends to make body temperature normal. The production (evaporation) of sweat in the skin cools us down when exposed to too much heat.
  • The core body temperature needs to be kept constant for normal physiological activity to take place (370c). It needs to maintain a core temperature for homeostasis.
  • Skin excretes waste product and excess salt from the body. Sweat includes waste products in solution. Water is lost continuously through the skin as insensible sweating. More pronounced water loss through sweating occurs as part of temperature regulation.
  • Important skin functions include the sense of touch or sensation. We need to know more about our outside environment through recognizing heat, cold, pain and other sensations. Nerve endings of the skin provide the body with a great deal of information about the outside environment.
  • Skin synthesizes the use of Vitamin D in the presence of sunlight and ultra violet radiation needed for the absorption of calcium and phosphate.

So take care of your skin.
No other organ in our body would do those for you.

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