Thursday, December 27

Skin facts - Know your skin

Home > Skin facts - Know your skin
Do you know that your skin is the largest organ in human body? In fact if you are an average adult, its surface area including hair, nails and glands, may measures about 1.5-2 square meters (about 17-22 square feet) and weigh about 3.5 kilograms (about 8 pounds).
Your radiant and glowing skin, in fact, is a very complex structure made up of millions of different types of cells carrying out many varied functions.

Know the structure of your skin

Skin is a dynamic organ in a state of constant change. The layer which is visible to us is in fact dead layer in the process of desquamation (shedding). It is made up of two layers. The outer most of layers is called epidermis and the inner or deeper layer is called dermis.

The epidermis in fact has the outer dead and dying layer and inner rapidly dividing layer. The epidermis on its outer side is mostly made up of flattened dead cells about to be shed off. The inner epidermis consists of rapidly dividing keratinocytes, pigment cells and nerve endings.

The dermis in fact is composed of two layers namely the papillary and reticular dermis. Apart from collagen tissue, elastic fibers and extra-fibrillar matrix make up the structural components of the dermis which give your skin its strength and flexibility. The dermis layer is also interspersed with blood vessels, nerves, hair roots and sweat glands.

Hypodermis, also known as subcutaneous fascia, lies beneath the dermis and is responsible for binding epidermis and dermis to the body. The hypodermis has connective tissue, sweat glands, fat cells, larger nerves, blood vessels and collagen producing fibroblasts.

Know the functions of your skin

Do you know that skin functions as a barrier. In fact it protects the internal organs and muscles from loss of body fluids and also from environmental elements and pathogens. it also has a thermoregulatory function by which the body temperature is maintained both in hot and cold conditions. Senses like hot, cold, touch, pressure and pain are picked up by millions of nerve endings present in it and are conveyed to the brain. Do you know that dermis synthesizes vitamin D on exposure to ultraviolet rays present in the sunlight?

Know your skin tone (color)

The melanin pigment and its type determines the color of a person. In excess presence melanin can give black color whereas its total absence in the dermis as found in certain genetic disorders can give rise to albinism. Blond hair, red hair and color of the iris are the effect of the proportion, density and types of melanin present.
In the same person melanin is concentrated at different levels producing pink lips, whiter palms and soles and white of eyes.

Know your skin type

Cosmetologists have categorized skin types into normal, oily, dry,  combination and sensitive types. The first three types can be easily known. In the combination type oiliness is only on the forehead, nose and chin areas and it appears dry in the rest of the body. When sensitive, it appears smooth in structure and is very reactive to environmental elements and chemicals. Further all of us know that its thickness differs and it is thinnest on the eye lids and thickest on the soles of the feet.

Healthy skin can only be present in a healthy body. It is an indicator of general status of your health. Nourishing and nurturing the body properly will give you true beauty. Poor internal health reflects as acne, wrinkles, blemishes, spots, premature aging, inflammation, infections, allergies and cancer.  Avoiding consumption of unhealthy foods and adding sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables will improve the general health and give your skin radiance and glow.
Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Skin_layers.svg
Image author: Madhero88 and M.Komorniczak
License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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