Your Human Skin

The skin is the outer covering of the body. In humans, it is the largest organ of the integumentary system made up of multiple layers of ectodermal tissue, and guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. Human skin is similar to that of most other mammals except that it is not protected by a pelt and appears hairless though in fact nearly all human skin is covered with hair follicles. There are two general types of skin, hairy and glabrous skin. The adjective cutaneous literally means “of the skin” (from Latin cutis, skin).

Because it interfaces with the environment, skin plays a key role in protecting (the body) against pathogens and excessive water loss. Its other functions are insulation, temperature regulation, sensation, synthesis of vitamin D, and the protection of vitamin B folates. Severely damaged skin will try to heal by forming scar tissue. This is often discolored and depigmented.

In humans, skin pigmentation varies among populations, and skin type can range from dry to oily. Such skin variety provides a rich and diverse habit for bacteria which number roughly a 1000 species from 19 phyla.

Skin has mesodermal cells, pigmentation, or melanin, provided by melanocytes, which absorb some of the potentially dangerous ultraviolet radiation (UV) in sunlight. It also contains DNA-repair enzymes that help reverse UV damage, and people who lack the genes for these enzymes suffer high rates of skin cancer. One form predominantly produced by UV light, malignant melanoma, is particularly invasive, causing it to spread quickly, and can often be deadly. Human skin pigmentation varies among populations in a striking manner. This has led to the classification of people(s) on the basis of skin color.

The skin is the largest organ in the human body. For the average adult human, the skin has a surface area of between 1.5-2.0 square metres (16.1-21.5 sq ft.), most of it is between 2–3 mm (0.10 inch) thick. The average square inch (6.5 cm²) of skin holds 650 sweat glands, 20 blood vessels, 60,000 melanocytes, and more than 1,000 nerve endings.

Skin performs the following functions:

  1. Protection: an anatomical barrier from pathogens and damage between the internal and external environment in bodily defense; Langerhans cells in the skin are part of the adaptive immune system.
  2. Sensation: contains a variety of nerve endings that react to heat and cold, touch, pressure, vibration, and tissue injury; see somatosensory system and haptics.
  3. Heat regulation: the skin contains a blood supply far greater than its requirements which allows precise control of energy loss by radiation, convection and conduction. Dilated blood vessels increase perfusion and heatloss, while constricted vessels greatly reduce cutaneous blood flow and conserve heat.
  4. Control of evaporation: the skin provides a relatively dry and semi-impermeable barrier to fluid loss. Loss of this function contributes to the massive fluid loss in burns.
  5. Aesthetics and communication: others see our skin and can assess our mood, physical state and attractiveness.
  6. Storage and synthesis: acts as a storage center for lipids and water, as well as a means of synthesis of vitamin D by action of UV on certain parts of the skin.
  7. Excretion: sweat contains urea, however its concentration is 1/130th that of urine, hence excretion by sweating is at most a secondary function to temperature regulation.
  8. Absorption: In addition, medicine can be administered through the skin, by ointments or by means of adhesive patch, such as the nicotine patch or iontophoresis. The skin is an important site of transport in many other organisms.
  9. Water resistance: The skin acts as a water resistant barrier so essential nutrients aren’t washed out of the body.

As skin ages, it becomes thinner and more easily damaged. Intensifying this effect is the decreasing ability of skin to heal itself as a person ages.

Among other things, skin aging is noted by a decrease in volume and elasticity. There are many internal and external causes to skin aging. For example: Aging skin receives less blood flow and lower glandular activity.

A validated comprehensive grading scale has categorized the clinical findings of skin aging as laxity (sagging), rhytids (wrinkles), and the various facets of photoaging, including erythema/telangiectasia (redness), dyspigmentation (brown discoloration), solar elastosis (yellowing), keratoses (abnormal growths) and poor texture. Cortisol causes degradation of collagen, accelerating skin aging. What can you do to revitalize your collagen fibers? Ingest the an all natural collagen supplements named GLO!

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