The skin is an organ in itself. It is an impressively large and heavy organ, occupying between one and two square meters of surface area for the average adult. The skin can be estimated at 15 percent of total body weight (in children, it accounts for an even larger percentage).
The skin is much more than just a covering for our bodies, but many people often wonder why skin is so important.
Skin provides a barrier
The skin is a simple barrier. It is the first line of defense to keep out dirt, germs, water, insects and other noxious substances. It helps the retention of fluid within the body to prevent the entire organism from evaporation and death. The unique network of epidermal cells and the spaces between them allows moisture to pass through the surface of the skin in both ways allowing the evaporation of sweat to help regulate body temperature.
Skin as a cooling system
The skin is very well suited as a radiator, or cooling system, for the entire control of temperature in the body. A consistent network of small vessels covers the outer core of the body just beneath the skin. These allow heat from chemical (metabolic) processes to reach the skin’s surface and leave. Actual cooling of the body occurs through vasodilatation of the skin vessels and the process of cooling through sweat evaporation.
Skin allows us to perceive sensations
The skin serves as the mechanism for sensory input to the body. There are specialized nerve structures for pain and temperature perception, light touch, and for stretch or tension changes within the skin. This is done through a series of nerve fibers that terminate in the dermal and epidermal layers with their receptive organs.
Skin acts as UV protection
Specialized cell types in the skin allow some protection from ultraviolet light. Melanin is produced by melanocytes. This is the pigment present as sun exposure causes tanning to occur.
Skin plays a role in metabolism
The skin has an important function in metabolism by having a unique ability to mediate and synthesize necessary molecules, such as Vitamin D.
Since aging and environmental factors can cause skin to become damaged, resulting in both visible and functional skin defects, it is important to restore the health of your skin. Most damage is reversible if skin health is restored. It is essential to incorporate into your daily routine a skin care system that effectively restores skin health.