The human body has many organs within it, most of which are necessary for bodily functions. The largest organ is not found on the inside, however, as the skin is actually the largest one. Human skin is made up of three layers, the top layer (epidermis), beneath that you have the subcutaneous layer, and then the dermis. The skin, like most organs, is vital to overall health and it carries out many functions that help us and protect our health. This article will detail the functions of the skin, giving you a clear understanding of the vital role the skin plays in everyday life.
Essential Functions of The Skin
When people think of vital organs, they may not consider the skin as one of them, but that’s not to say that the skin does not play a vital role in human health and well-being. The skin carries out many functions, as you can see below:
The skin helps to protect us from numerous things, including dehydration, microorganisms/bacteria, injury/trauma, and ultraviolet radiation/sun damage. It acts as a barrier from the outside world, with the tissue being strong enough to protect us. The skin also carries proteins (keratin) and pigments (melanin). Melanin is what helps to protect against UV rays, the light sensitive pigment ensuring we are not overly damaged by the suns rays.
The skin allows us to feel and recognize pain, touch/pressure, and temperature heat and cold. It is covered in somatic sensory receptors which relay these sensations as signals to the brain.
3. Temperature Regulation
The skin helps release or preservation of heat. Sweat glands within the skin release sweat onto the outer layer of skin, which then evaporates to reduce levels of heat.
The skin also interacts with the immune system of the body and help destruct microorganism. The cells within the skin like Langerhans cells, phagocytic cells, and epidermal dendritic cells help with immunity.
5. Permit Movement and Growth
The skin allows for bodily growth and adapts to suit an individuals course of movement. It has elastic and recoil properties on all of its layers, meaning it can adapt for growth and movement.
The skin can also expel uric acid, ammonia, urea, and excess water. When noting the functions of the skin, excretion is a very important one. Unwanted human byproducts such as the ones listed above are released through the skin via sweat and sweat glands.
The skin helps vitamin D synthesis.When the skin is exposed to a nice amount of ultraviolet light, such as the light of the sun (man-made lights also work), the stratum basale and stratum spinosum of the skin produce vitamin D3. This happens because a chemical found within the skin, known as 7-dehydrocholesterol, reacts with the ultraviolet light. It is important to note that overexposure to UV rays can be very dangerous so that it should be moderate.
8. More Functions
- Absorption: The skin is capable of absorbing necessary substances, such as nitrogen and oxygen. Although we as humans still require lungs to breathe,some species of animal have such advanced skin that they are capable of absorbing all the oxygen they need through their skin.
- Water resistance: The skin acts as a barrier, ensuring that all essential minerals and nutrients remain within the body. The outer layer of skin is covered with nutrient and oils that help to protect us against unwanted and excess water.
So, How to Take Care of Your Skin
Now that the functions of the skin have been discussed, you must surely see the importance of this organ, and should, therefore, think about how to take care of it. Below are some points on good skin care:
1. Protects Against the Sun
Sun exposure can be great for you, but too much of a good thing will be bad. If you plan to spend a long amount of time in the sun, ensure you are protected: Wear sun screen and/or protective clothing to cover sensitive areas, and find shade if the sun's rays become too much.
2. Avoid Smoking
When you smoke, blood vessels within the outer layer of skin begin to narrow, which in turn decreases blood flow. This leads to a depletion of the oxygen and nutrients of the skin, all of which are essential to skin health. Smoking also reduces skin strength by damaging elastin and collagen, so it would be wise to quit if you are a smoker.
3. Treat Your Skin Right
It is important to keep your skin clean, but it is also important to do it right. Avoid long baths and use warm water, as opposed to hot. Also, avoid using harsh soaps full of chemicals, instead, opt for mild cleansers. When drying, pat the skin as opposed to rubbing it. When shaving, ensure that you are gentle and careful, and always shave in the direction of the hair. Also, try to moisturize to avoid the skin from becoming dry.
4. Eat Healthy
Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables will provide you with much needed nutrients, which are beneficial to overall health, as well as skin health. Some research suggests a close correlation between vitamin C and younger looking skin. A healthy diet will ensure optimum functions of the skin. Eating processed foods has numerous bad effects on the body, so you'd better avoid them.
5. Don’t Get Stressed
High levels of stress can affect us in many negative ways, including on the skin. If possible, take steps to manage and control your stress levels, to ensure health skin, as well as a healthy body and mind.
The video below tells you the detailed info about daily skin care. Learn and adapt such good habit for the optimal functions of the skin: