What is skin and why is it important?

What is skin and why is it important?

What is skin and why is it important?


Have you ever thought about your skin? Other than something that keeps your guts from hanging out, what is it really? Is it something that is important to pay attention to? Are you ever really aware of your skin other than when it is irritating you or not looking the way you would like? We take for granted this “bag” our bones and muscles and organs are contained in and don’t marvel at how quickly it heals and what stories it has to tell us about what is going on inside of us.

Skin is the largest organ of the body. It is made of water, protein, fats, and minerals. Its function is protection for your body against germs and other outside elements of the environment and regulation of body temperature. Nerves in the skin help you feel sensations, for example hot and cold.

There are three layers to your skin.

The top layer (outer layer) is the epidermis and the primary functions include: being a protective barrier against germs, bacteria and environmental elements, make new skin cells and contains the melanin that gives the skin color.

The middle layer is the dermis and the primary functions include: contains the collagen that makes skin cells strong, resilient and flexible, grows hair, contains nerves and makes oil to keep skin soft, smooth and water resistant. This layer also contains the sweat glands that help with temperature regulation and the blood vessels that provide nutrients to the epidermis to keep it healthy.

The bottom layer (inner layer) is known as the hypodermis and this layer’s primary functions include: cushioning for muscles and bones, contains connective tissue connecting skin to muscles and bones, holds larger nerves and blood vessels that connect to the rest of the body and also the fat in this layer helps regulate body temperature.

Because of how connected the skin is to the inside of the body, not something we really think about, and it is also the outermost layer, the skin is most like a magic mirror that offers clues about how healthy our habits are and what may be happening inside our body. When something inside the body is off balance, usually something on the skin develops. What you eat and your lifestyle can significantly affect your health and ultimately your skin. When we look at what’s happening on the surface of our skin and understand the causes behind those symptoms, it’s easier to make daily changes to improve how we look and feel.

In future blog series, we will be taking a look at what are some causes of temporary skin “imperfections” and how to make some changes you can do on your own to improve the look of your skin.






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