How Does Skin Grow

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The outer covering of the whole body, the skin is really the largest organ of the body. Besides the all important general functions of protection it serves an umber of other functions, including heat and fluid control for the body. The skin consists essentially of two layers, the cutis or top layer that we can see, and the subcutaneous layer or lower layer, consisting of connective tissue and fat.

The cutis consists of the epidermis or dead skin cells at the surface, which are continually being scaled off, and the dermis, which is the area laying down new skin cells. Everyone is familiar with the loss of dead epidermis when skin is lost due to blisters or sunburn. The subcutaneous layer is the area where hairs, the sweat glands, the sebaceous glands and the nerve endings are found. The nerve endings give us our sense of touch and the feeling of pain, which is one of the mechanisms of protection.

The roots of the hair originate in the subcutaneous layer and the hair root is surrounded by sebaceous glands, which produce oils and fatty acids. These oils lubricate the skin and the fatty acids help control the number of bacteria on the skin and hence help fight infection.

The sweat glands excrete salts in watery solution to the surface of the body and this water evaporates and causes cooling. Consequently when we are hot we sweat more to aid cooling of the body. If we sweat a lot because of severe exercise or extreme heat it may be necessary to replace body salts which are also lost with the fluids of sweat.

The greatest problems affecting skin are infection and injury such as rash or burning.

Infection usually occurs in the form of pimples or boils, in which bacteria invade blocked hair follicles. With burns, apart from the risk of infection, enormous loss of body fluids can be brought about by direct seepage to the surface.

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