SKIN – structure and function

The skin is the largest organ of the human body. It consists of three basic layers: 1. Epidermis, 2. Dermis, 3. Subcutis.

Epidermis
This layer of skin has the function of retaining water in the body, preventing the entry of water into the body through the skin, protection against infections and various other detrimental external influences (chemicals, etc.).

Dermis
Located under the epidermis is a layer of skin made from connective tissue. In this skin layer there are many sensory corpuscles (mechanical receptors, nerve endings) through which we receive the sensations of touch and heat. Also located in this layer are hair follicles, sweat glands and sebaceous glands, lymph nodes and blood vessels.
The basal layer of cells is connected with the subcutaneous layer through fatty and connective tissue.

Subcutis
Subcutaneous fatty and some connective tissue comprise this layer of tissue which isn’t actually part of the skin however it connects the skin with the muscles and bones located under this layer. The quantity of fatty tissue in this layer depends on genetic factors, cultural factors and nutrition and way of life.

SKIN FUNCTION

The skin has a number of tasks: it protects us from external influences, it prevents dehydration of the body and the entry of fluids, detrimental substances and microorganisms into the body.

Aside from these, the skin also participates in the regulation of body temperature through a number of mechanisms: by raising hair (goose bumps), through sweating, and by widening and constricting the blood vessels.

The skin also serves as a storage area for fats and water. Furthermore, under the influence of sunlight (UV radiation) the skin also synthesises vitamin D.

Along with all these tasks, the skin also has an aesthetic role, therefore changes in the skin due to various skin diseases result in uncomfortable feelings and introversion of a person, as they can be seen with the naked eye.