Functions of the skin
Functions of the skin
Protective- The skin is the protective outer layer (membrane) of the body that acts like a protective wall for soft and delicate body organs, muscles, blood vessels, etc. it protects the body organs from out injury. The skin acts as a shield against harmful micro organism and outer substances about entering inside the body. The skin is water proof. Therefore, it does not allow outer liquids to enter inside the body and stops tissues fluids to come out. It also plays an important role in protecting the body from diseases.
Temperature regulation- Well, the skin is fully water proof, but its outer surface remains moist by fluid secreted from tiny tubes of sweat glands. Sweat comes out from the pores of these tiny tubes and goes on vaporizing by the influence of outer environment. As a result of it, the body retains its coolness. In humid weather, the body does not able to be cooled, because our air has moisture and sweat persists on the skin instead of being vaporized. In cold weather, the skin acts like an insulator, due to which heat persists in the body. Besides it, the compact network of blood vessels is also present in the dermis. In hot weather, the blood vessels are expanded and the radiation of heat from blood is increased. In this way, body heat decreases.
Excretion- The skin excretes out little quantity of waste (useless) substances like- urea. It also removes out about one gram of waste nitrogen per hour.
General sensation- The skin receives sensations like touch, pressure, pain, cold and hot and sends to the brain. These actions done by the nerve endings of the nerve fibers present in the skin. The tactile corpuscles made up of nerve fibers acts as the sense organ of touch. Nerves fibers are also present in extra in the hairs’ root, that’s why the hairs, too, help in the sensation of skin.
Secretion- Sebum is produced by sebaceous glands present in the skin. Fatty acid, cholesterol and argosterol are chiefly found in this secretion. It keeps the skin smooth. Due to less secretion of this sebum in winter season, the skin is become dry and scabby.
A unique type of secretion is also produced by mammary glands, the modified form of sebaceous glands, which protects from infections.
Water balance- The production of sweat and coming out this sweat from the body is very important in maintaining the process of water balance inside the body.
Acid-base balance- The reaction of sweat is acidic in nature, so unnecessary acid is also come out in appropriate amount from the body with sweat. In case of acidosis, the sweat increases the elimination amount of acid from the body after becoming more acidic. In this way, the skin helps in maintaining the constant reaction of the body.
Synthesis- Ergosterol is present in the sebum found in the sebaceous glands of skin. It helps in the formation of vitamin ‘D’ from ultraviolet rays of the sun that completes many body functions and is very important for health.
Storage- The dermis and subcutaneous tissue keep fat, water, salt, glucose and other substances as stored inside them.
Absorption- The skin has the ability to absorb oily substances inside it. It absorbs even lipids and vitamins easily inside it.