One may think the skin just covers you, keeps you warm, and gives you bad acne, but the skin actually performs miraculous duties for the body. The skin has two major layers: the epidermis and the dermis. Beneath that is the hypodermis! In the epidermis there are sub layers. The very top is the Stratum Corneum which is comprised of dead skin cell layers (20 to 30 of them) and these cells are completely filled with keratin. Next is the stratum lucidum which is a layer that is not seen in all skin regions. It is usually found where there is no hair and the skin is especially thick like the palms and soles of your feet! Then you have the Stratum Granulosum and the Stratum Spinosum which is where skin is pushed upward from the dermis and slowly start dying. Then there is the deepest part of the epidermis, the Stratum Basale. It contains the cells that receive the most nutrition through diffusion. They are constantly multiplying. After the epidermis, the skin has the dermis which consists of loose connective tissue. It contains the papillary layer which contains nerve receptors. In the dermis is all types of things that help the skin function like nerves, sebaceous glands, arrector pili muscles, eccrine sweat glands, Pacinian corpuscle, arteries, and veins. Each of these serves a different purpose for the skin. Sebaceous glands produce oils that empty into a hair follicles. The sweat glands produce a salt and water combination that carries heat from the skin through the sweat pores then evaporates to cool off the body. This helps keep the balance of body temperature so one can keep homeostasis. Arrector pili muscles are attached to the hair follicle so when the bodies get cold they contract and stand the hair straight up causing “goose bumps.” The skin also contains melanin which is a pigment that is responsible for your tan, or your lack there of. The skin is the largest organ in the body. It aids in temperature regulation, protein production, excretion, absorption, vitamin D production, and sensory perception. The skin aids in homeostasis by temperature regulation. When the body is hot sweat glands produce sweat that carry heat to the surface and it evaporates cooling down the body. Skin also absorbs vitamin D through the sun. If the skin is not balanced it may cause an infection like athletes foot, boils, and cold sores. This is the way the skin tells you something is not working right and then tries to balance itself out by either hyperproducing or hypoproducing certain things.

My anatomy and physiology textbook
and the class notes on the integumentary system


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