The skin is the largest organ of the body. On the average person, the skin is approximately 3000 square inches and weighs approximately seven pounds. While the eyes are the “windows of the soul”, the skin is the “window to the body” because it is the only organ that can be seen.
The skin contains 25% of the body’s blood supply, which flow completely through the skin once every minute. The skin is the body’s largest organ of immunity. It is the body’s first line of defence, the boundary where self is designed from non-self, yet it is highly interactive with the environment.
Anatomy of Normal Skin
Approximately 50% of the body’s primary cells of immunity are housed in the skin at any minute. After puberty, these cells are matured in the skin. The skin is biodynamic, alive up to the stratum corneum the only barrier the skin has to the outside world. The stratum corneum is less than the thickness of one human hair. In one square inch of the skin there are 2800 openings for sweat and oil glands. Over three million sweat glands cover the body, contributing to one of the skin’s many nicknames, the third kidney. In one day, skin will release one to several millilitres’ of water. As we get older, these sweat glands produce less perspiration.
Skin perspires, what some people mistakenly call breathing. It takes in about 2.5% of the body’s oxygen and releases about 3% carbon dioxide. In general, the skin does not breathe from outside oxygen. It works on anaerobic metabolism through our lungs.
The skin is a bio-conversion factory. It is the largest hormone and enzyme producing organ of the body. Two distinct layers make up the skin. The epidermis, which covers and protects and the dermis, supports the epidermis and connects it to the underlying muscles.
It acts as a heat regular in conjunction with the blood stream and perspiration glands. When the body is exposed to too much heat, there is a rush of blood to the surface of the skin, permitting it to cool. At...
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