Anatomy of the Skin
The skin is nothing short of amazing..
This integral part of the immune system works extremely hard every minute of every day to help the body maintain homeostasis (equilibrium). Its functions include.
- Regulation of body temperature.
- Protection from injury.
- Waste disposal (via sweat).
- Lubrication (via sebaceous glands).
- Metabolize and store fats.
- Prevention of mineral loss.
- Conversion of UV rays into useable vitamin D.
- Moisture regulation.
Not only does the skin protect the body from the outside world to keep out germs, dirt, heat, cold, water, sunlight, insects and gases, it acts as a major waste disposal system to rid the body of toxins. The skin is, therefore, our body's first line of defense.
Skin tissue is flexible and elastic, and covers an average surface area of around 14 square feet, making it the largest organ of the body. Just 1 square inch of skin contains around 9.5 million cells, 1,300 nerve endings, 65 hairs, 100 sebaceous glands and 78 yards of nerves!
Generally, the skin is designed to keep more things out than it allows in however certain substances, such as essential oils, fat-soluble vitamins, water, creams and lotions, can be absorbed.
Although it may look like a simple thin layer, the skin is actually comprised of many layers of complex tissue enclosed within three main structures, the epidermis and dermis (the two upper layers) and the subcutaneous layer (the underlying layer).
(To learn more about the anatomy of the skin, click on the Articles menu to the left.)
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