FUNCTIONS OF THE SKIN

FUNCTIONS OF THE SKIN

FUNCTIONS OF THE SKIN The skin not only protects the body from pathogens and external injury, it is a highly dynamic organ that plays a key role in maintaining body homeostasis.Physical ProtectionThe skin is a barrier to microorganisms, water, and excessive sunlight (UV light). Oily secretions onto the surface of the skin form an acidic protective film (pH 4.0-6.8) that waterproofs the body and retards the growth of most pathogens. The protein keratin in the epidermis also waterproofs the skin, and the cornified outer layer (stratum corneum) resists scraping and keeps out microorganisms. As mentioned previously, exposure to UV light stimulates the melanocytes in the stratum basale to synthesize melanin, which absorbs and disperses sunlight. In addition, surface friction causes the epidermis to thicken by increasing the rate of mitosis in the cells of the stratum basale and stratum spinosum, resulting in the formation of a protective callus.HydroregulationThe thickened, keratinized,...
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