The structure of the skin and its functions

Healthy and well-groomed facial skin is the main condition for an aesthetic appearance. For this reason, proper care is extremely important. Skin surrounds your entire body and also performs many important functions. Knowing the functions and structure of the skin, you can better care for it and quickly identify any disturbances in its functioning. The condition of the skin is determined by a number of factors. Her appearance varies by race, gender, age, and general health.

The structure of human skin

The skin is called the largest human organ and can be divided into three layers: epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue. It contains sweat and sebaceous glands, hair, blood and lymph vessels, and nerve endings. The structure of the skin forms a kind of cover of the body that protects the internal organs from external factors. The thickness depends on the body part. The thickest, that is, 4 mm, layer is located on the arms and legs. The thinnest skin is on the eyelids.

The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin

The epidermis performs a protective function in the human body. Its structure consists of multilayered squamous epithelium. The composition does not include blood vessels, which is why this layer of skin periodically dies. The cells of the exfoliating layer, called corneocytes, are composed exclusively of keratin. Keratin proteins give the skin elasticity by binding water. The stratum corneum peels off naturally during a 28-day renewal period.

Additional Information! The epidermis contains cells responsible for the skin’s immunity, as well as cells of the nervous system. The only one contains melanin, which is a pigment that gives individual color to the skin and hair.

Below the epidermis is the dermis – the middle layer with the greatest thickness. Nerve endings present in the dermis allow a person to perceive external stimuli, such as temperature, pain or pressure. It also contains connective tissue cells, fat cells, and several types of fibers. Fibroblasts, i.e. connective tissue cells, are called youth cells, since it is their active work that helps maintain the youth and beauty of the skin. They produce elastin and collagen.

Fibroblasts produce elastin and collagen

Collagen makes up approximately 75% of the weight of the dermis, and elastin approximately 5%. They make it flexible, elastic and durable. . The dermis also contains hyaluronic acid, which perfectly binds water. Their weakening and disappearance is typical for mature skin that loses its youthful elasticity.

Additional Information! The presence of mature skin is not strictly related to a specific age limit, but rather to the deterioration of skin condition. Such symptoms can be observed at different ages, it is very individual, since each of us goes through the aging process differently.

This area also contains lymphatic and blood vessels, hair follicles, and sebaceous and sweat glands. An important element of this layer in the structure of the skin are sensitive cells. They are connected to the nervous system. Thanks to them, we feel touch, pain, as well as heat or cold.

The deepest layer is subcutaneous tissue, which plays a very important role in the process of thermoregulation. It insulates the body from both cold and heat. Contains adipocytes, that is, fat cells, the tips of hair follicles, as well as sweat and sebaceous glands.

The deepest layer is subcutaneous tissue

Subcutaneous tissue is largely responsible for the elasticity of the skin. Women usually have slightly more subcutaneous tissue than men.

Functions of human skin

The functions of human skin largely relate to the protection of the entire body. The skin performs many functions, including:

  • protection from external factors such as UV radiation, frost, wind,
  • protection from mechanical and chemical damage,
  • participation in the regulation of water and secretion,
  • participation in the processes of thermoregulation of the body.

The skin protects us from mechanical damage, as well as from microorganisms, many chemicals and environmental pollutants. The protective function of the skin also protects the body from UV rays. The production of melanin, responsible for tanning, is a protective mechanism of the skin.

Skin protects us from damage

The main functions of the skin include thermoregulation, which is responsible for maintaining the temperature of the entire body. When organs are not functioning properly, symptoms are visible on the skin. It absorbs many water- and fat-soluble substances. Thanks to this, some medications can be administered through the skin without irritating the intestines and stomach.

Note! The structure of the epidermis is of particular importance in cosmetology and in all skincare procedures. It is on this layer of skin that anti-wrinkle creams are applied and exfoliated with a facial scrub.

That is why it is so important to take care of this barrier, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the body. The appearance of our skin often reveals the health of our body. Age is also visible on the skin, although in this case a lot can be done by using appropriate face creams and body cosmetics.

What is a hydrolipid barrier?

On the surface of the stratum corneum there is a lipid membrane. It consists of the secretion of the sebaceous glands and lipids produced by keratinocytes, regulates the processes of absorption and penetration of water- and fat-soluble substances into the skin. Additionally protects against pathogens, temperature fluctuations and excessive humidity. Has variable composition. This is determined by age and various skin diseases

They are responsible for the elasticity and radiance of the skin, and the main task is to prevent water loss and, as a result, significant drying of the skin. Thanks to the hydrolipidic layer, water does not leave the epidermis, which prevents aging and dry skin. It is very easy to damage or destroy if you do not take proper care of your skin. The lipid barrier, if intact, causes dead epidermal cells to slough off at their natural rhythm. As a result, the skin is cleansed, radiant and retains its elasticity.

When is the hydrolipid barrier damaged? One of the most common phenomena is improper or even aggressive skin care. The reason for this is incorrectly selected cosmetics and lack of daily care to remove impurities.

The protective barrier can be damaged by:

  • mechanical injuries;
  • long-term use of deeply exfoliating peels, which leads to disruption of the lipid membrane;
  • excessive UV radiation;
  • unfavorable weather conditions, for example, frost, wind, low temperatures;
  • dry air, especially in air-conditioned rooms.

A damaged hydrolipidic barrier will not perform its function correctly, so it is worth restoring it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the skin is vulnerable to the development of inflammation and a significant deterioration in its condition.

How to restore the skin’s hydrolipid barrier?

Only systematic and comprehensive care can restore the damaged hydrolipidic barrier.

The hydrolipid layer prevents aging and dry skin

It should consist of at least the main stages: cleansing, moisturizing and nutrition. Properly selected skincare products should contain appropriate substances that will not predispose to further damage.

A good choice may be cosmetic vegetable oils that soften and soothe. In pharmacies you can buy both creams and delicate cleansing emulsions for the face that do not irritate or dry the skin. Creams, unlike oils, are perfectly absorbed and do not leave a greasy layer on the surface of the skin. They also have UV filters that protect against harmful weather conditions.

Skin is a very large and important organ of the human body. It is worth taking proper care of because it protects our body and at the same time has a significant impact on our appearance. Knowing its structure, taking care of its good condition will become easier!

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