FAQs: About Your SkinYour Skin
Your skin is the absolute first thing people see when they first meet you. It’s condition can says a lot about you. Bald, great hair, jaundiced, pale, dark, tanned, dry, scaly, smooth, sleek , wrinkled, blackheads, acne, thick nails, calloused hands, soft hands, freckles, scars, irregular pigmentation, skin literally comes in all shapes, colors and sizes.
What is your skin?
It is a complex organ system encasing your body. It is divided into two major sections, your component of what we call the “skin” and the appendages or adnexae consisting of your hair, nails, and glands. Apocrine glands found in the armpits, groin, eyelids and ears, are associated with the hair follicles and secrete or produce a milky secretion that is odorless until exposed to the skin’s bacteria where you develop that rich earthy smell associated with hunting camps and men’s locker rooms. Eccrine or “sweat” glands are distributed over the entire body but more so in the hands, feet, armpits, and forehead. Great for first dates and wedding days. The sebaceous glands are the oil glands which are associated with “shiny noses” and pimples. Muscles are present in the skin which can move the hairs (“make the hair stand up on the back of your head”) or cause the nipples to become erect.
The skin has a complex set of nerves, blood vessels and muscles. At the cellular level there are many different cells. Some cells make the pigment melanin which gives us our “color” or our summer tan. Others make restore the lost epithelial cells of the top layer or the epidermis while other specialized cells make your nails, hair, moles. Important cells responsible for the tightness are the fibroblasts. These cells make the material or molecules that form collagen fibers and elastic fibers. This process is an ongoing process that continual renews your collagen and elastic layer that is are the “springs” and the stress resistant layer of your skin. Surgeons know when they incise the skin of a child the wound will immediately gap open. The same incision on an elderly person will barely open, such is the difference in elasticity of skin due to aging. This is also why the elderly easily bruise their skin while doing yard or house work. Things at effect the collagen and elastic fiber production is UV radiation, smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, vitamin deficiencies, illness, congenital problems, physical stress, heavy metal exposure, and environmental damage.
Your skin is different according to location. The facial skin is rich in oil and sweat glands along with hair follicles. These structures make the facial skin more resistant to injury than say the skin of the back or neck. This is why cosmetic surgeons can treat the facial skin of the face with abrasion, lasers, or chemical peels, and have the face heal relatively quickly without scarring,(unless procedures carried to deeply)as opposed to the neck or upper chest which a lot of aggressive treatment would cause scarring. Some skin is thin such as the eyelid that is about as thick as poster paper versus the back which is thicker than cardboard.
What is its function?
Your skin’s primary function is to protect you. It has other functions as well, such as temperature regulation and removal of toxins. But its’ primary function is to act as a protective barrier. It is a waterproof (to an extent), flexible, barrier designed to protect your body from things from coming in such as inanimate objects (stones, sticks) and animate objects animals, insects, bacteria, fungus and viruses It other function is to keep your things in such as fluids, minerals to stop you from drying out. Your skin is a vital part of your immune system. It secretes a slightly acidic mantle that is bactericidal. Frequent bathing and showering will degrade this important part of your health system.
All in all your skin is an incredibly complex structure vital to your health and appearance. It deserves the best you can give it in the way of care, protection and feeding.