For many, the skin is simply your outer body covering-nothing more, nothing less. Wrong.
For those with a medical background, this will be a throwback to first/second year anatomy and physiology. For those without, this will be a free, simplified lesson about the skin- the what and hows. Before we get into a few interesting facts, what is skin?
Simply put, your skin is a layer of cells, under which is connective tissue and fat. It is associated with other structures like hair, sweat glands, blood vessels and nerves.The skin is the largest organ in the body (or ON the body, if you wanna be technical). In an adult, the skin can cover up to 2 squared metres in surface area.
- Protection: your skin is the first line your body has against the elements and micro-organisms which can cause infection
- Barrier: prevents and regulates water loss
- Temperature regulation: depending on what your body needs, the skin can cool you down via more sweat production; or keep you warm via constriction of your superficial blood vessels
- Metabolism: your skin is involved in the production of an important vitamin, vitamin D. This vitamin is needed for calcium absorption in the gut, which, as is well known, is integral to bone health, amongst others
- 50 Shades of Brown: Melanocytes, pigment containing cells, determine your skin colour , and more importantly, protect your skin from UV light rays from the sun.
- In Your Feels: because it contains extensive nerve fibres, the skin is an important means of detecting touch, pressure, pain and temperature.
Now, a-lot can be said about each of the points above, but suffice it to say that the skin is way more than a simple overcoat. It is a source of extensive information about one’s overall health and wellbeing- also, another story for another day.
In the next post, I’ll discuss the basics of any skin care regimen. In the mean time, chew on the facts above, and take care always.
Peace & Lovely Things,
MARTINI, F., NATH, J. L., BARTHOLOMEW, E. F., OBER, W. C., OBER, C. E. AND HUTCHINGS, R. T.
Fundamentals of anatomy & physiology
- Illustration courtesy of Wikimedia Commons