The skin is the largest organ of the body and it plays an important role. Aside from protecting your inner structure from bacteria and mechanical injury, the skin also serves as insulation giving you warmth. Your sense of touch is also thanks to your skin. The skin also performs temperature regulation making sure that you don’t get too cold or too hot. At times the skin is used to let some forms of medication get through.
Skin keeps you safe
When they tell you that your skin is your body’s first line of defense, they’re right. Your skin makes up an essential part of the structure that encloses the delicate inner organs. With the right amount of fat and strong bones, the skin covers a mainframe that serves as a cushion against mechanical injury. Its ability to feel pain, heat, cold, and pressure allows you to sense any danger nearby. The skin’s natural flora also prevents opportunistic bacteria from lodging anywhere on our bodies and causing us grief.
Skin keeps you at just the right temperature
The skin is jampacked with a system of nerves running underneath your skin, with some of them reporting temperature readings to the temperature regulator of the brain: the hypothalamus. The skin senses whether its environment needs cooling down or warming up, sends the message to the hypothalamus, and the hypothalamus sends back a response to skin: sweat if you’re hot, shiver if you’re cold. This basic instinct to lose or conserve heat is crucial to maintaining the specific 37.5 degree Celsius body temperature.
The 3 Layers of Skin
There are 3 layers of skin. That’s right! The skin goes deep. What we see is called the epidermis. Squamous cells are the majority of cells that make up this layer. Squamous cells are flat and having the shape of scales. Basal cells are found underneath the squamous cells. Now the basal cells have a round shape. Deep-seated in the epidermis are cells called Melanocytes. These cells are responsible for the production of melanin which is responsible for giving the skin its color.
Dermis is what we call the second or inner layer of the skin. This layer holds blood and lymph vessels as well as hair follicles and glands. If you’re wondering where sweat comes from, the answer is your glands. Your glands also produce sebum which is the skin’s natural moisturizer!
The very name of this layer tells you that this is the third or innermost layer of the skin as the word subcutaneous means under the skin. This layer is made up of fatty tissues and blood vessels. This is the part of your skin that absorbs shock therefore your skin is cushioned when you hit or bump into something. This layer also serves as storage for energy that the body can use when we are highly active.
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