Skin functions





Skin functions

The skin is an organ of the human body like any other body organ and it’s actually one of the largest organs in the human body. It’s the outer covering of the body comprising in some places where hair grows and in others, hard parts like the feet and palms of the hands. The skin of an adult could cover approximately eighteen square feet if it were to be spread out flat and it weighs approximately six pounds. The skin is regarded as an organ because it performs certain specific functions of the body just like any other body organ. The skin is generally made up of three layers namely; the epidermis, the dermis, and the adipose layer. These layers are the ones involved in the functions of the skin.

According to Dean and Cornelia, the skin functions in many ways including perspiration, body temperature regulation and contains other organs that help in body functions. These include blood vessels, nerve cells, nerve ends, sweat glands, and many other body cells. There are two basic parts of the skin although it contains three layers. These are the epidermis, corneum, or the cuticle. Below the epidermis lies the dermis (corium) and the epidermis is the one that gets rubbed off when one’s skin gets bruised. The epidermis is water proof and is barrier to infection while the dermis serves as the location for the skin appendages. The adipose layer is mainly involved with fat storage and regulation of body temperatures. The skin is mainly involved in perspiration of fluids. This is because it possesses sweat glands which are involved in eliminating excess salts, water and waste products. The sweat glands are also involved in body temperature regulation whereby through sweating they are able to cool down the body temperatures.

The skin covers the whole of our body whereby in some places, such as the soles of o the feet, it’s very thick and in other places such as the eyeballs, it is very thin. Jones indicates that the skin protects the whole body against germs and external injuries and also provides the body with the information about temperature changes. The skin is basically divided into two regions whereby the outer region is made up of many layers of cells that are protective. Underneath the protective cells, there are thousands of very sensitive cells that comprise the nerve cells. The skin has very many tiny openings that excrete unwanted body fluids in the form of sweat and they are called pores. The skin has been found to be the most unappreciated organ in the body whereas it is one of the busiest organs and it also mirrors the state of one’s health, race and age.

According to Henry and Patricia, there is more to the skin than meets the eye. Our way of life and occupation may become indelibly imprinted on our skin in terms of scars or marks. The skin is the body’s thermostat whereby it regulates heat loss and heat gain. It contains about three million cells, about three feet of blood vessels and so many nerves that the size of a postage stamp can be covered by twelve feet of nerves. The difference between skin colors or between the darkest person and an albino is a pigment called melanin. The amount of this melanin in a person’s skin accounts for all the variations in races including black, brown and yellow. Thus the skin is a very important but underappreciated organ because it protects the body and it also regulates body functions such as temperature. In conclusion, the skin is a very important body organ and it should be appreciated due to its functions and composition.

Works Cited

Dean, Cornelia. Our Skin. New York times on the web, 2007. Print.

Henry, Patricia. The Dermis. Denver: Harper-Collins, 1999. Print.

Jones, H. The Great Cover Up. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003. Print.