| |INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEM - SKIN IS IN! |
That's a big word to describe something as simple as our skin. First, the skin is not all that simple.
Second, integumentary systems are the parts in humans that include the basic types of skin, hair, fingernails, oil, and sweat glands. They are found in integument layers called the epidermis (top), dermis, and subcutaneous (bottom).
WHAT DOES THIS SYSTEM DO?
The integumentary system is all about protection. The system protects our body from disease by providing a barrier to viruses and bacteria. The system protects our body from physical damage by offering a thick barrier that both contains our internal organs and stops large objects, like a rock from entering our body.
The system also protects our body from dehydration, overheating, or freezing. The layer of skin can sweat and help our body cool or surround a layer of fat that keeps warmer temperatures inside. Did you know your skin makes up over fifteen percent of your body weight and is the largest organ in your body? Yes, our skin is considered an organ.
INTERACTING WITH OTHER SYSTEMS
How does the integumentary system work with other systems? We already spoke about our skin as one of the first defense mechanisms in our immune system. Our skin has tiny glands that secrete sweat and oil. Those glands are termed exocrine glands and are not like the glands of our endocrine system. While it may feel a bit slimy, those fluids decrease the pH on the surface of our skin and kill microorganisms. There are even enzymes in our sweat that can digest bacteria.
The integumentary system also works closely with the circulatory system and the surface capillaries through our body. Capillaries near the surface of the skin open when our body needs to cool off and close when we need to conserve heat. We can't leave out the...
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