The Importance of Skin

The Importance of Skin

We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

The Importance of Skin

Here in Austin, we hear year-round about the importance of protecting our skin from the harmful rays of the sun, as well as how to detect the early signs of skin cancer. We also think about ways of keeping our skin looking young by removing the fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration that occur with age.

We do a lot to take care of our skin, yet we really don’t know much about how our skin takes care of us. The truth is that our skin as multiple functions, beyond just making us look good, many of which help keep us alive.

What is actual role of Skin?

Although not commonly thought of as an organ, skin is actually the body’s largest organ. It helps hold all the other organs in place and it maintains the moisture balance in our bodies. Skin also regulates our body temperatures, protects us from ultraviolet radiation, makes vitamin D, and is one of the first lines of defense for our immune system. So, if neglected, poor skin health can have massive effects on a body’s overall health.

Skin Structure

Skin is actually made up of three layers, and each layer has different functions.

·  The top layer is the epidermis. The epidermis contains skin cells, which are layered on top of each other. The topmost layer of skin cells are actually dead cells that have been pushed to the surface, and will eventually flake off. The average person loses between 30,000 and 40,000 dead skin cells per minute. The epidermis also contains the pigment cells that contribute to your skin color, and tanning. Finally, the epidermis contains pores to allow sweat and oils to reach the surface of the skin.

The dermis is the next layer down. The dermis contains all the nerve endings, blood vessels, and oil and sweat glands. It also contains collagen and elastin, which make the skin strong, flexible, and stretchy. When collagen beaks down, it causes wrinkles, and when elastin breaks down the skin can become brittle and tear easily. Cosmetic procedures like laser skin resurfacing, actually stimulate collagen production. If you are looking for something local, you should check out the American Laser Skincare Texas map and adjust it to fit your area.

·  The last layer is called the subcutaneous layer. Subcutaneous actually means “under the skin and this layer is not actual skin; but, because the skin depends so much on this layer, it’s considered part of the skin mechanism. The subcutaneous layer contains fat, and it binds your skin to the muscle and bones beneath, so you don’t end up looking like a Shar-Pei. The subcutaneous layer also contains the hair follicles.

Skin Functions

Earlier we touched on some of the things your skin does; here we will explore exactly how it performs some of those functions.

Maintaining the Moisture Balance

It’s probably clear that our skin holds our organs in place by covering our entire bodies. That same mechanism also keeps the water inside from getting out, and the water outside from getting in. This feature is what allows us to live on land. We do lose some water through our sweat glands, but that doesn’t come directly from the tissues beneath the skin, it has to go through a special process. This brings us to…

Body Temperature Regulation

Sweat is one of the most effective ways that we stop ourselves from overheating. In hot temperatures, your body opens the blood vessels on the surface of the skin, and releases sweat through the sweat glands. The sweat is slightly cooler than the surface of our skin, and that helps cool down the blood near the surface. The outside air causes the sweat to evaporate, which pulls more heat off the body and cools down the blood even more. That cooler blood circulates, keeping your entire body cool.

Your skin also protects you from getting too cold. In cold temperatures your body constricts the blood vessels near the surface, to protect them from getting over-cooled. The same muscles that constrict those vessels are also responsible for goose bumps.

Ultraviolet Protection & Vitamin D

Your body contains two types of highly specialized cells that also happen to work against each other. One type makes vitamin D, and the other makes you tan.

The cells that make vitamin D are activated by ultraviolet light. The vitamin D cells love ultraviolet rays, and would probably soak them up all day, if they could.

The cells that make you tan are also activated by ultraviolet light. However, these cells hate ultraviolet, because it can damage the body. So their sole purpose is to darken like a sun shade to protect the structures beneath the dermis – including the cells that make vitamin D.

This is one of the reasons why people with darker skin tend to have lower vitamin D levels.

The Immune System

Your skin protects your body for diseases and infections by providing a strong, waterproof barrier, and also by having its own immune cells, called Langerhans cells. These cells detect when the skin barrier has been breached and sends lymphocytes to the area to fight off

Knowing how many jobs our skin performs, you can see why it’s important to keep it protected, and repair it when it becomes damaged.

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