The Structure And Functions Of The Skin

To be able to care as rationally as possible our skin it is necessary to possess a baggage of elementary knowledge about the structure and the functions of the skin. The skin has a complex structure, being consisted from three layers: epidermis, dermis and the hypoderm. The epidermis, the surface layer, is formed out of more layers: -The deepest layer, the germinating layer or basal, is formed from elongated cells, of cylindrical shape, which form by continuous division other newer cells. The older cells are always pushed to the surface of the skin, where they form the exter- nal layer also called stratum corneum, which comes in contact with the envi- ronment; -Stratum corneum is resistant to the action of the atmospheric, chemical and mechanical factors, especially because his cells are impregnated with a substance called keratin. This layer is continuously scaling.

The dead cells come undone and fall, being replaced with new ones. In twenty four hours it is scaled between six and fourteen grams of horned cells. The thickness of the horned layer differs from a re- gion to another of the body (for example, in the region of the soles and palms it is much thicker). Under the epidermis lies the dermis, a layer formed of connective tissue, in which are found the blood vessels, nerve endings whereby we touch, feel the temperature and pain, sebaceous and sweat glands, the skin muscles and the root of the hair threads.

The dermis is always fed with blood and lymph, which feed the skin cells. An important peculiarity of the dermis is the elasticity, on account of which the skin can stretch and relax. This property comes down with age, favoring the appari- tion of wrinkles. As it has been shown, in the dermis are also found the sweat glands, unevenly distributed on the surface of the skin. They present under the form of tubes which form a small ball in the dermis, from which a canal starts which opens at the surface of the skin, through it eliminating the sweat. The activity of the sweat glands is influenced directly by the nervous system, which explains the abundant sweat in case of emotional states. Along with sweat are eliminated various toxic and useless substances from the organism, which re- lieves in some way the kidney. Recurring and abundant sweat leads to pickling, scalding of the skin, constituting a good environment for developing the pathogen germs and fungus.

It results that an exaggerated sweat can have unfavorable reper- cussions over the organism. Beside the sweat glands, the skin is punctuated with sebaceous glands which excrete a fat called “sebum”. These glands are more numerous on the face, on the nostrils, chin and back, being absent on the soles and palms. The only grease that lubricates these last sections is the fatness re- maining after the sweat evaporation. Throughout the life, the sebaceous glands’ secretion modifies a lot. Their activity is very intense during the puberty and lessens gradually with the aging of the organism. Under the dermis lies a layer of connective tissue, called hypodermis, which unites the skin with the muscles and bones.

Here, on the eyes of the connective fibers lie the fat cells, which are distributed unevenly in the skin. Thus, at the eyelids and ears’ level are fully inexistent, while on the abdomen, breasts or thighs, they are numerous. On the surface of the skin many orifices open up, called pores, and they are actually the orifices of pilosebaceous follicles. The pilosebaceous follicle is built from a hair wrapped in its shell, a sebaceous gland and a small muscle attached to them. The pore, also called ostium follicular, represent a dead end, like a funnel, hardly visible if the skin is normal. In the case of excessive secretion, these orifices distend, making the skin look unaesthetic and porous. The skin covers the body entirely and continues at the mouth’s level, nose and other natural orifices with a finer film, called mucous membrane.

Here, on the eyes of the connective fibers lie the fat cells, which are distributed unevenly in the skin. Thus, at the eyelids and ears’ level are fully inexistent, while on the abdomen, breasts or thighs, they are numerous. On the surface of the skin many orifices open up, called pores, and they are actually the orifices of pilosebaceous follicles. The pilosebaceous follicle is built from a hair wrapped in its shell, a sebaceous gland and a small muscle attached to them. The pore, also called ostium follicular, represent a dead end, like a funnel, hardly visible if the skin is normal. In the case of excessive secretion, these orifices distend, making the skin look unaesthetic and porous. The skin covers the body entirely and continues at the mouth’s level, nose and other natural orifices with a finer film, called mucous membrane.

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