Our skin is the outermost layer of the human body and performs the job of providing us with the protection from the surrounding environment. It is the largest organ of the body and is crucial in its role of general health and well being.
There are other parts that the skin plays apart from being the outer layer. Here are some of the roles of the skin, some of which are obvious, others may come as a bit of a surprise.
- The skin protects us from parasite invasion.
- The skin gives us our sense of touch.
- The skin regulates the body’s temperature.
- The skin prevents the body from dehydrating.
- The skin aids the detoxification process.
- The skin synthesises vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight.
- The skin helps the immune system to fight infection.
For all of the reasons listed above it is very important that we treat our skin with a great deal of respect. It is also the reason why we should give it an occasional inspection every o often to confirm that it is still in good working order.
The thing about our skin is that it is constantly changing. As we age our appearance changes dramatically and this can be put down to the regeneration process of our skin. The speed with which the regeneration process takes place changes as we age. The younger we are the faster it takes. An infant regenerates skin cells in as few as fourteen days. When we get to middle age the process will have slowed down to be just over a month.
The skin consists of two distinct layers: the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the outer layer and the dermis is located just under the part that we might refer to as the skin. It contains the nerves and allows us to feel things such as heat, cold, pleasure and pain. The dermis also connects blood vessels to the base of the epidermis.
The protection process that skin goes through is a very sophisticated one. It is the defender of the body and protects us from injury, the external conditions such as temperature and climactic events, parasites and other factors.
The skin has a way of being able to detoxify some toxic chemicals when they penetrate the epidermis. They can transform some substances into benign substances that can be excreted from the body either as urine or as sweat. The removal of toxins from the body is a constant event and is one of the very important factors of sweat. It is this reason why saunas, steam baths and hot baths are often recommended as a detoxification process.
Keeping the skin cells clear and unclogged is an important factor to healthy skin. As the skin cells get clogged by dead skin or dirt they are unable to work quite as efficiently in their job. A light brush with a slightly abrasive object such as a loofah in the bathroom is very effective in removing dead skin cells and rejuvenating the skin.
The ability of our skin to provide us with a built in immune system comes down to the blood vessels, glands and cells that are located there. As well as these parts of the skin it also contains specialized immune-system cells that are scattered throughout the skin. These specialized skin cells can detect bacterial invaders or viral invaders and destroy and remove them before they harm the body.
Our skin does so much for it we should do everything we can to provide it with the care and support that it deserves.