Your Skin and How it Works for You
We have amazing skin
This skin is our heaviest and largest body organ and is designed to protect our inside from the outside. It is changing constantly and is very adaptable to the changing environment, light and temperature.
It protects us from, for example, the cold weather, ultraviolet radiation and microorganisms. It is extremely sensitive to pressure and movement, vibration and heat.
As well as a protective barrier the skin maintains the correct internal temperature and, through nerve endings, gives us the sensation to feel everyday objects, feel pain from hot or cold objects and stay away from danger
Our skin keeps us alive and keeps us healthy.
So we will ask two essential Questions
In this article we will ask –
How does out Skin work for us…. how it is constructed, what does it do and how does it do it?
In the next article we will ask –
How you can take the best possible care of your amazing skin?
Firstly – How does our skin work for us
Construction of the Skin:
The Skin is made up of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis: and these three layers play essential roles which are vital to life including
- Protecting against ultraviolet radiation which is very harmful
- Protecting against shocks and bumps
- Preventing water loss
- Producing Vitamin D
- Protection from microorganisms (e.g. chemicals, particles and bacteria)
This is the top most layer of the skin, the layer that we see. It is waterproof and gives us our skin tone.
This uppermost layer of our skin gives us a physical barrier between our inner body organs and the outer world.
The epidermis is be regenerated continuously. There are several layers in the epidermis and the lower layers move up to the top, getting tougher as they get to the surface.
The top layer, known as the stratum corneum, is actually made up of dead skin cells, which flake off and, over the course of about 4 weeks, are replaced by layers of new cells.
Is situated just below the epidermis and is the tough layer. It is thicker than the epidermis. It contains connective tissue. The hair follicle start in the dermis, as do the sweat glands, sending the sweat they create up to the epidermis. It is home to the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels. Also it contains the sebaceous glands, which produce sebum that lubricates and waterproofs hair.
The Dermis gives the skin its strength and flexibility. The nerves in the Dermis sense pressure and temperature and give protection to the body from stress and strain.
The bottom layer of the skin is called subcutaneous tissue, the hypodermis, or subcutis. It is made up of fat and connective tissues and elastin (an elastic protein that helps tissues return to their normal shape after stretching).
It is not technically part of the skin but helps attach the skin to underlying bone and muscle. Subcutaneous tissue also provides skin with nerves and blood supply.
The high levels of fat help insulate the body and prevent us from losing too much heat. The fat layer also acts as protection, padding our bones and muscles, and is an important source of energy when needed.
One important Role of the Skin
A very important role of the skin is to act as a barrier, which protects the body from the outside world. This function is carried out by the top layer of the skin, the Epidermis.
The dead cells form a tough protective layer while the Lipid Barrier (layers of oil soluble molecules) form a protective shield that is very important to the healthy function of our skin.
The Lipid barrier keeps the good things in your skin and also keeps the bad things out. It helps to keep the skin feeling hydrated by preventing the loss of water. It keeps the natural moisturisers from leaching out of the skin.
Another thin barrier known as the Acid Mantle, acts as a protective film on the surface of the skin. This protective layer helps to keep the skin strong and smooth, supple and soft. It protects against UV rays and pollutants and prevents water loss. It produces antigens close the surface of the skin thus boosting the immune system.
The acidity within the layer prevents the growth of bacteria thus providing resistance to infection.