Getting to Know the Skin Better (The Epidermis Edition)

It’s quite funny to think of the fact that most of us do not even know, notice or give that much attention to the largest organ of our body when it is actually quite out there and very visible. If you ask the question what’s the largest organ in the human body, many would think of internal organs and the most common answer is the lungs. Sure the human lungs is large but not large enough to thwart the skin!

The skin has very important functions which is why it truly deserves a lot of looking after. It serves as a protective covering of everything inside the body. If we did not have skin, our muscles, bones, tissues and other organs would be all over the place and would be exposed to all sorts of infections.

Here are two other functions of the skin!

  • It keeps our body from overheating or freezing. The skin regulates the body’s temperature making sure that it is just at the right temperature.
  • Thanks to the skin, we have the sense of touch.

The Epidermis

You probably are already aware that the skin has three layers. We will first discuss the epidermis.

What is the Epidermis

The epidermis is the outermost skin layer. This is the layer of the skin that we see. Old skin cells are tough and rough so that the skin can effectively function as a protective covering. However old skin cells don’t stick around for too long. They get shed off eventually. Did you know that about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells everyday are shed off the surface of your skin? Don’t be alarmed with this rate of skin cell shedding as this is nothing but normal. The epidermis makes new skin cells to replace the old ones. About 95% of the cells in the epidermis are working to create new skin cells while the remaining 5% make melanin.

What is Melanin?

Melanin is what gives the skin its colour. The more melanin the skin has the darker is the colour of the skin. More melanin is produced by your skin cells when you expose yourself under the sun. If you are wondering why the answer is simply to protect your skin from getting burned by the ultra violet rays emitted by the sun. You probably have noticed that the more time you spend under the sun the more tanned your skin becomes. Although the melanin has a mighty ability to protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays, this does not mean that you would not need extra protection. You should always wear sunscreen lotion whether it’s gloomy or sunny. Protective clothing would also help in avoiding the painful experience of sunburns. Remember to always protect your skin so that you can minimise your risk of getting skin cancer.

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