DESCRIBE the anatomy and physiology of the skin in relation to skin breakdown AND the development of pressure sores.
The skin is one of the largest organs in the body in surface area and weight. The skin consists of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous tissue. The skin has three main functions: protection, regulation and sensation. The skin is an organ has many functions
Protection. The primary function of the skin is to act as a barrier. The skin provides protection from: mechanical impacts and pressure, variations in temperature, micro-organisms, radiation and chemicals. The produce of melanin protects against UV radiation and gives skin its colour and is produced by melanocytes. This involves the epidermis layer of the skin. 2.
Regulation. The skin regulates several aspects of physiology, including: body temperature via sweat and hair, and changes in peripheral circulation and fluid balance via sweat, sebum is produced by the sebaceous gland, which protects the hair follicles and creates a film over the skin. It also acts as a reservoir for the synthesis of Vitamin D. This involves dermis layer of the skin. 3.
Sensation. The skin contains an extensive network of nerve cells that detect and relay changes in the environment. There are separate receptors for heat, cold, touch, and pain. Damage to these nerve cells is known as neuropathy, which results in a loss of sensation in the affected areas. Patients with neuropathy may not feel pain when they suffer injury, increasing the risk of severe wounding or the worsening of an existing wound. This involves the subcutaneous tissue of the skin.
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