File Name: structure and function of skin .zip
Dermatology in Clinical Practice pp Cite as. Skin is the largest organ of the body, covering an area of 1. The skin protects us against the external environment. The thickness, pigmentation, and distribution of the appendages of the skin vary in different parts of the body, depending upon the function and needs of the area.
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Its most obvious job is to protect our insides from the outside, but there is much more to the skin than that. Alongside its role as a protective barrier, the skin helps us maintain the right internal temperature and allows us to sense the world through nerve endings. Skin is a complex organ; an average square inch of skin contains sweat glands , 20 blood vessels , and more than 1, nerve endings. Despite being just a few millimeters thick, skin makes up around one-seventh of our body weight. In this article, we will cover the basics of skin, how it is constructed, what it does, and how it does it.
The skin is composed of two major layers: a superficial epidermis and a deeper dermis. The epidermis consists of several layers The topmost layer consists of dead cells that shed periodically and is progressively replaced by cells formed from the basal layer. The dermis connects the epidermis to the hypodermis, and provides strength and elasticity due to the presence of collagen and elastin fibers. The hypodermis, deep to the dermis of skin, is the connective tissue that connects the dermis to underlying structures; it also harbors adipose tissue for fat storage and protection. Although you may not typically think of the skin as an organ, it is in fact made of tissues that work together as a single structure to perform unique and critical functions.
The human skin is the outer covering of the body and is the largest organ of the integumentary system. The skin has up to seven layers of ectodermal tissue and guards the underlying muscles , bones , ligaments and internal organs. There are two general types of skin, hairy and glabrous skin hairless. Because it interfaces with the environment, skin plays an important immunity role in protecting the body against pathogens  and excessive water loss.
Nurses need to understand the skin and its functions to identify and manage skin problems. This article comes with a self-assessment enabling you to test your knowledge after reading it. Nurses observe the skin of their patients daily and it is important they understand the skin so they can recognise problems when they arise. This article, the first in a two-part series on the skin, looks at its structure and function. Citation: Lawton S Skin 1: the structure and functions of the skin.
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