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Anatomy & Physiology Assignment

The skin structure and its functions:

The skin has many different functions such as sensation, heat regulation, absorption, protection, excretion and secretion. Can be remembered by ‘shapes’. [pic]
The sweat gland is a looped gland located in the dermis. The gland produces sweat to help regulate body temperature when the body temperature begins to rise. During this process it removes small amounts of waste products such as salt and urea (chemical compound found in urine). A pore is the opening at the surface of the skin, sweat passes through the pore onto the surface of the skin. The skin also has sensory nerve endings; the free nerve endings are located in the epidermis and the dermis. They respond to a range of different stimuli (something external that makes the body react) such as heat, cold, pain, pressure and touch, this is information from the nerve endings sent to the brain to create a reaction.

Blood vessels are located throughout your body; they’re hollow tubes that circulate your blood. There are three major types of blood vessels:

• the arteries, which carry the blood away from the heart

• the capillaries, which enable the actual exchange of water and chemicals between the blood & the tissues

• the veins, which carry blood from the capillaries back toward the heart

The blood vessels transport blood which contains lots of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Blood vessels also transport blood which contains lots of carbon dioxide and waste products away from the skin. The blood capillaries (extremely small blood vessel located within the tissues of the body, connects arteries and veins) allow the circulation of nutrients and gases between the cells and the blood. The lymph vessels run through the body in much the same way as the blood vessels do. They are part of the body’s secondary circulatory system. The lymph vessels collect waste products and foreign bodies. Lymph is filtered and cleaned before being returned to the blood system.

The skin has many structures; the following is called ‘Pilo’. One structure of the skin is the hair follicle; this is an indentation in the skin lined with epidermal cells which supports the growing hair. The hair on the skin grows from the hair follicle and can offer warmth and protection. Another structure of the skin is the arrector pili muscle, this is a smooth muscle tissue attached from the skin to the side of the hair follicle, when this contracts it causes the hair to stand on end creating ‘goose pimples’. A third structure is the sebaceous glands, this is attached to and is an opening into the hair follicle, it creates sebum (natural body oils), this lubricates the skin and the hair.

The skin can be different and have different characteristics depending on ethnic client groups. When performing a treatment it is vital to know the different characteristics of different ethnic client groups.

Afro/Caribbean: The skin colour is dark and ranges to almost black due to the large amount of melanin. When black skin is exposed to UV rays they become darker & darker which is due to the hyper pigmentation. Vitiligo is a large problem when it occurs in dark skin as it appears very obvious. Blemishes should be treated with extra care as scarring and hyper pigmentation could result due to high levels of melanin.

Asian: The colour of the skin has a light to dark skin tone due to the increased melanin with yellow undertones. There is a tendency towards a hyper pigmentation. In females there is a tendency towards superfluous facial hair.

Oriental: This skin has more melanin present and has a yellowish tone. Oriental skin is more prone to hyper pigmentation and tends to be oily. Blemishes should be treated with extra care as scarring and hyper pigmentation could result due to high levels of melanin. The female skin is generally smooth with very little facial hair.

Caucasian: The skin...
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