11 April 2016 -
3285 times read.
Our skin and complexsion is so important to our outter appearence and yet we fry it in the sun, sratch it till it bleeds, and dry it out in extreme weather. Dispite all the harsh treatment our skin recieves, with a little skin cream we are transformed again into feeling soft and moist and we can even get easily arroused when we are lightly touched. Our bodys ability to regenerate and heal is truly an amazing process of nature. But some damage our skin receives can not be repaired such as severe burns, agressive prolonged acne, and scar tissue. Here are 10 facts about the skin that everyone needs to know.
The skin consists of several layers
Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of the body? An adult has a skin surface area of about 1.5 to 2 square meters. The skin, including the subcutaneous connective tissue, weighs about 18 kilogrammes. The skin has a thickness of 1 to 3 millimetres and is made up of several layers. Each layer has a specific function. The top layer is the cuticle (epidermis). The bottom of the epidermis is made up of living cells and the upper side is made up of dead cells; the stratum corneum. In the epidermis new cells are formed constantly and it is also here that the exchange of nutrients and waste products as well as the formation of pigment take place. Beneath the epidermis is the dermis. It contains the fibroblasts, collagen fibres and elastic fibres of the skin. These ensure that the skin is firm and supple. Beneath the dermis lies a subcutaneous tissue layer. This layer consists mainly of fatty tissue that protects the body and retains heat.
The skin is part of the immune system
The skin is an important sense enabling us to feel cold, heat, vibration, pressure and pain. In addition, the skin provides important signals for example, red or pallor and chills.The skin is an important part of our immune system. It is a barrier against all kinds of external influences. Think of bacteria and viruses, but also UV radiation and friction. The skin protects the body from drying out and allows our core temperature to remain constant. This keeps the body and our immune system functioning properly.
Vitamin D factory
The body needs vitamin D to be able to absorb calcium from food. Vitamin D plays an important role in the growth and maintenance of teeth and bones. Vitamin D is made under the influence of sunlight by cells in the skin. People with dark skin or those who cover large parts of the skin would be wise to take a vitamin D supplement because the skin itself produces too little vitamin D.
Continuous cell renewal
The skin renews itself continuously. Every minute you lose about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells. Under these dead skin cells is a new skin. Do you suffer from dull skin? When you exfoliate regularly, you remove the top layer of dead skin cells and a new, radiant skin becomes visible.
Sebum keeps the skin supple
Our skin is covered in sebaceous glands, an average of almost 100 per square centimeter, except on the palms and soles of our hands and feet. Sebum consists of a mixture of fats that are smoothen the skin and protect it from drying out.
The skin contains two types of sweat glands
Sweat glands, just like sebaceous glands, are also found all over the body. The duct of the sweat gland runs through all layers of the skin and ends in the epidermis. There are two types of sweat glands: the eccrine sweat glands which play an important role in regulating the body temperature. When the body overheats they secrete sweat allowing the body to cool down. The apocrine sweat glands are located mainly in the armpits, around the nipples and external genital organs. They work under the influence of adrenaline and secrete small amounts of sweat all day.
Burn by sunlight affects arise skin cancer
The more you burn in the sun, the greater the chance of developing skin cancer. An important indication of skin cancer is a change in the skin, such as a rough spot or a wound that does not heal or a change in the color or size of a mole. This has to be checked by a doctor.
Moles are harmless accumulations of pigment
Birthmarks are harmless phenomena that affect virtually everyone. White people have an average of 20 moles, while people with darker skin tones have an average of 9. They are accumulations of pigment-forming cells in the skin. Often birthmarks only become visible between your 10th and 30th birth year, but 1 in 100 newborns already has them.
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Last updated on May 23, 2017.