One of the unexpected rewards of my skin issues is learning the right way to care for my skin. When I encounter a problem, I have to get to the bottom of it until I figure it out. As a result, I've learned so many random and important things about my skin. As I journey through, I will share all I can. Today I want to talk about one simple thing: our skin. What is it? How does it operate? How does it support the rest of our bodies? Time for a little class!
Our skin is our body’s largest, and fastest growing organ. It covers an area of about 20 square feet. Skin is made up of three main layers: epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fat.
Epidermis is the top thin layer of skin that we all see. Skin cells are constantly being renewed in the deepest part of the epidermis. The cells are pushed to the skin’s surface where they come to die. When they die, they become filled with keratin which is a tough protein that waterproofs our skin and protects the epidermis from damage, infection, and drying out. Because the cells are constantly being renewed, pushed to the surface to die, and sloughed off the skin, we have a completely new epidermis about every 30 days. The epidermis also produces melanin which gives us our skin color and helps protect us from the skin’s rays by deflecting or absorbing them. The Langerhans cells in the epidermis are a part of the skin's immune system and also play a role in the development of skin allergies.
- Gives skin its color by making melanin.
- Produces new skin cells.
- Protects us from damage and infection.
- Creates a waterproof barrier
The dermis is called the “true skin” and lies between the epidermis and the deepest layers of the skin. This is the layer where all the magic happens. It is a thick layer of living tissue that contains blood vessels, nerve endings, our sweat glands, and hair follicles. The dermis holds the skin’s sebaceous glands which makes oil to keep skin soft and smooth. When these glands are clogged, they create acne and other problems. The epidermis does not have a direct blood supply; all nutrients that feed these cells come from the dermis. The blood vessels in the dermis help regulate body temperature; heat makes the vessels bigger which makes larger amounts of blood to circulate near the skin surface. Cold makes the vessels smaller which retains the body’s heat.
The dermis layer.......
- Holds sweat glands.
- Helps you sense and feel things.
- Grows hair.
- Produces oil.
- Brings blood to feed your skin.
Subcutaneous Fat Layer (hypodermis)
The subcutaneous layer’s role is short and sweet. This layer is your body’s insulation. It provides the padding you need to protect from heat and cold, and it stores energy. This layer is the pathway for your blood vessels and nerve cells to reach other parts of your body and attaches to body tissue to connect your dermis to your muscles and bones. The padding is the protection you need for muscles and bones to protect from breaks and falls.
The subcutaneous fat layer......
- Attaches the dermis to muscle and bones
- Guides blood vessels and nerve cells to other parts of the body
- Regulates body temperature
- Stores fat
This concludes our lesson for the day. Hopefully you’ve learned something!
- June 26, 2015
- Tiffany A