SkInfo – General Structure and Function of the Skin

Skin Function

Your skin is the largest organ of your body and has many vital functions to perform and therefore deserves to be cared for in the best way possible. To keep your skin looking and feeling its best you need to ensure that it has all of the necessary nutrients that it requires to carry out repair and renewal on an on-going basis. There are three complementary ways of doing this. One is to eat a healthy diet containing lots of fruit and vegetables and another is to make sure you have plenty of good quality sleep. The other way, of particular interest to us here at Kamaroma, is to use products on your skin that are beneficial to your skin and will protect it.

There are seven different functions of the skin:

Protection – The Importance of the Skin Barrier Function

The skin protects the body from bacterial invasion, dehydration, UV radiation and physical abrasion. This aspect of the skin function is the main one that can be influenced by the skincare products that you use.

Sensation

The skin contains nerve endings and receptors that respond to stimuli in our environment such as temperature, pressure, pain and touch.

Regulation of Body Temperature

The evaporation of sweat from the skin keeps the body temperature at normal levels when exposed to high environmental temperatures or an elevated temperature in response to strenuous exercise.

Excretion

Sweat not only helps to cool the body in the heat but also removes salts and organic compounds from the body

Synthesis of Vitamin D3

This occurs when UVB rays from sunlight cause a precursor molecule, known as 7-dehydrocholesterol and found in the skin, to react and convert to previtamin D3. Previtamin D3 then changes into vitamin D3 over a period of approximately 24 hours. Vitamin D3 is then converted to a prohormone by enzymes in the liver, called calcidiol and then into the final most biologically active form of Vitamin D3 by enzymes in the kidneys to calcitriol. Calcitriol is important for the absorption of calcium when we eat foods that contain this mineral.

Immunity

the dermis and epidermis contain special cells that form an important part of the immune system helping to remove foreign invaders, such as microbes.

Blood Reservoir

The dermis contains an extensive network of blood vessels that convey 8-10% of the total blood flow in a resting adult.

Skin Structure

In an average adult, the skin covers an area of 2 square metres and varies in thickness from 0.5mm in the eyelids to 4.0mm in the soles of the feet.

The skin comprises 3 main layers:

Epidermis

This is the outermost layer of the skin and is responsible for the protection and the skin barrier function. This is the layer that is most affected by the skin care you use.

Dermis

This layer is found directly beneath the epidermis and comprises two sub-layers:

  • Superficial or Papillary Dermis – comprised of loose connective tissue, blood vessels and nerve endings.
  • Deeper Region or Reticular Dermis – comprised of dense connective tissue, including collagen and elastin; maintenance of this layer helps to give the skin a youthful appearance.

Hypodermis

This Layer is comprised mainly of fat cells, with nerve fibres and blood vessels running through it.

 

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