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human body
The Human Body
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MAIN Arrow to Health Health Arrow to Human Body The Human Body Arrow to Skin Skin

Skin layers diagram

• epidermis - the outermost part of the epidermis is composed of dead skin cells and keratin making the skin waterproof.
• dermis
- the middle layer of the skin contains a type of cholesterol that produces Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.
• sebaceous gland
- secretes oil (sebum) in the hair follicles to lubricate the skin and hair.
• erector pili muscle - causes the hair to stand on end (resulting in "goose bumps") in response to cold and fright.
• hypodermis
- the body's natural insulation containing subcutaneous fat which also provides nutrition to the upper layers.

Our skin is actually a human organ - the largest in the body, in fact.

It is composed of three different layers, the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis, all of which work collectively to help the skin perform its many functions.


How your skin protects you

The first, and what most would consider the most important function of the skin is to wrap up our internal organs, fluids, and everything else that keeps our bodies working to protect it from the outside world.

Like the insulation in our homes, the skin also acts to regulate our internal temperature. Additionally, the skin plays a pivotal role in synthesizing vitamin D which like a hi-tech solar panel generates the essential nutrient when exposed to the sun.


Skin care and health tips

While there are a huge variety of skin care products on the market to protect against common skin problems like acne and blackheads, there are some simple, easy measures that can be taken to keep skin healthy and youthful looking that most of us overlook.

One of the most important things that anyone can do for their skin is to protect it from the sun to avoid sunburn or serious diseases such as melanoma or cancer of the skin.

Staying out of the sun during peak hours, wearing protective clothing, and using sunscreen are all important to avoiding skin damage, especially during the summer months.

Keep in mind though that the skin is also responsible for synthesizing vitamin D, and so many skin care professionals do endorse a limited amount of sun exposure, but only during non-peak hours of the day. In colder weather, indoor humidifiers and skin moisturizers helps to keep skin strong and supple through the winter months.

More about human skin around the Web:

Skin - Wikipedia - Complete overview with facts & information on skin layers and functions, tips on skin health care and hygiene, with related resources and references.

Your Skin - Kid-friendly information with names of skin layers and their functions with related hygiene tips, from KidsHealth.org.

 

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