Why is it important to understand the skin? Well, if you know and understand how it works and functions , chances are that you will know how to take care of your skin. This blog will give you a brief overview of the skin, as well as its structure and how it functions.
Did you know that the skin is the largest organ in the body?
The skin has two layers
- The epidermis which is the layer that you can see. The outer most cells on this layer are constantly shedding to reveal the newer layer. There is no blood supply to the epidermis.
- The dermis is the layer found beneath the epidermis. This layer is connected to blood supply. The dermis is the layer where you will find sweat and sebaceous glands. One of the key characteristics of the dermis is that the dermis contains all the specialised cells. These specialised cells are responsible for collagen production, histamine production as well as white blood cells that fight infection.
The epidermis is further divided into five layers
- Stratum corneum which is the surface layer. This is where the dead cells are found. This layer is constantly shedding.
- Stratum Lucidum is the clear layer.
- Stratum granulosum is the granular layer. This layer contains granules that are visible in healing tissue after trauma.
- Stratum Spinosum is the prickle cell layer.
- Stratum Germinativum which is also known as the basal layer. This layer contains living cells. These living cells take around 28 days to move up all the layers before being shed. It is also important to know that this layer also contains melanin. Melanin is what gives your skin colour.
What are the functions of the skin ?
- Heat regulation, that is the cooling and warming of the skin
- Elimination of waste products
- Vitamin D production
- Melanin production
How can you protect your skin?
- Limit the time you spend in the sun. The sun can cause many skin damages, age spots, wrinkles, freckles and discoloration to name a few. If you are on holiday seek places that have shade.
- If you are a smoker, its about time that you think about quiting. Smoking damages the collagen and elastin fibres in your skin. These are important for keeping your skin looking firm and youthful. As a result of the damage you will find that your skin will start wrinkling.
- Limit your time in the bath as well as shaving. Excessively done, these can eventually take a toll on your skin. Dry skin can easily become a problem therefore it is important to moisturise your skin regularly.
- Eating healthy foods will also promote healthy looking skin. Diets rich in fatty fish oils are excellent. Don’t forget to eat your daily requirements of fruits and vegetables and hydrate.
- Stress has been killer for years, it has the same effect on the skin. Stress can cause skin problems such as sensitivity and acne. It is important to manage stress levels and ensure that you get enough sleep.