Author Topic: Skin:Functions  (Read 1358 times)


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« on: March 13, 2012, 01:46:58 PM »
Skin is the outermost covering of the human being and arguably the most important for cosmetic purposes. It is the largest organ in the mammals. It is made up of multiple layers.
Layers of Skin
Epidermis: This is the uppermost layer of the skin and has a rich supply of nerve endings. It does not have any blood supply. It measure about 0.5 to 1mm in thickness. It contains melanocytes which are responsible for skin color in the person.
Dermis: this layer lies beneath the epidermis and above the hypodermis. It is a relatively thicker layer as compared to the epidermis. It contains hair follicles, sweat glands, sebaceous glands (which secrete oily matter to lubricate the skin) and blood vessels.
Hypodermis or subcutaneous layer: It is the third layer of the skin. It attaches the skin to the underlying muscle, fascia or bone. It consists mainly of fat. It contains large blood vessels and nerves.

The skin is constantly getting regenerated. Cells are regenerated from the lower layer (dermis) that is supplied with blood vessels and nerve endings. The cell migrates upward and reaches the upper layer i.e. epidermis. This process takes about 2 weeks. The cell spends another 2 weeks in the epidermis as it migrates from the lower part of the epidermis to the upper part of the epidermis gradually flattening out and then falls off as dead cells .
Protection: It comes in direct contact with the environment therefore plays a major role in protection of the internal body from various types ofinfective and harmful organisms.
Sensation: The skin carries nerve endings to experience touch, pain, temperature, pressure, vibration, etc.
Temperature regulation: The blood supply of the skin plays an important role in the control and loss of energy.
Control of evaporation: The skin acts as a barrier to fluid loss. This is seen in burns patients who have lost a lot of fluid due to burns.
Storage: It performs the functions of storage of water and lipids (fats) to help keep the moisture level in the skin to its optimum.
Synthesis: It helps in the synthesis of Vitamin D from ultra violet light.
Water resistance: The skin acts as a water resistant barrier so that the vital nutrients remain in the body.
Absorption: It also helps absorb ointments, medicated lotions, adhesive patches etc.
Cosmetic: One can assess the physical and mental state looking at the skin. It also being the outer covering contributes toattraction.
Excretion: Unwanted substances like urea are excreted through the skin through sweat. It is also a function of temperature regulation.

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