Function of Skin

three layers of the skin are shown in a pop up layout of a woman's face

Function of Skin

Skin is the largest organ of the body that protects from bacteria, microorganisms, and other factors. Skin maintains the overall body temperature. We can feel and sense by the skin that hot and cold sensation.

Skin is made up of three layers that is epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.

The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin. The basic function of the skin is that it maintains a waterproof barrier by creating our skin tone. The dermis layer is found after the epidermis. It has tough connective tissue, hair follicles, and sweat glands. The hypodermis is made of fatty connective tissue. It is also known as subcutaneous tissue. The skin tone or skin colour is made by melanocytes. Melanocytes produce melanin and are located in the epidermis.

The function of the skin is as follows:

1. Protection

The main function of the skin is to protect the body against any harmful effects as it works as a protective barrier of the skin. The Skin also protects the body against many factors like moisture loss, harmful agents, exposure to sunlight and harmful UV rays, any thermal and physical injury. 

The skin consists of many layers the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis each containing important elements that serve to protect the body against harm. The outermost layer of the skin protects the body against any infection. As skin produces or secretes sebum from the sebaceous gland, sebum prevents the skin from drying and helps keep it moisturized. These protect the skin from entering any infected bacteria causing infection. The subcutaneous layer of the skin protects the body against any trauma caused by accidents, etc. The subcutaneous cells are also known as fat cells which serve as energy sources. Langerhans cells recognize the unwanted bacteria from entering the body.

2. Thermoregulation 

The other main important function of skin other than body protection against mechanical, physical protection is the thermal protection that maintains the body temperature. The body's normal temperature is maintained by these thermoregulation functions of the skin. The skin protects the body from heat and cold and thus maintains its normal temperature to 98 Fahrenheit. 

3. Secretion

The skin has sweat glands that function as secreting waste products from the body. These sweat glands are known as sudoriferous glands. Apocrine and endocrine glands are the two glands divided under the sweat glands that maintain the body temperature. The function of the apocrine gland is to secrete waste substance on the skin and is present in the genital and axillae area. The endocrine glands are present in the body in the forehead, palms, hands, and sole on the feet. They secrete urea from the body.

4. Excretion

As you know sebaceous glands secrete sebum. The sebaceous gland is also known as the oil gland that produces sebum (oil). These glands secrete oil thus maintaining body health and helping it to keep the skin moisturized. These function of excretion of the skin helps in the excretion of oil from the oil glands and are also present in the T-zone area of the face and cheeks. Sebum protects the skin as well as hair by keeping it healthy.

5. Sensation

As you know skin is known as the sensory organ as it tastes, sense the smell, and taste of the things around you. These function of the skin makes feel pain, pains, and any touch done to the body. The skin sends signals to the brain and this signal is converted in the sense of feeling touch, pain, pressure, heat, or cold to the body. The skin has a touch receptor, pain receptor, and pressure receptor to sense things.

6. Absorption

The other main function is absorption, skin absorbs moisture thus keeping it healthy and glowing. Skin can absorb oil but not water. Creams and lotions contain oil as their ingredient which helps in keeping the skin and body moisturized. So it is always recommended to use lotions that are pharmaceutical and cosmetically proven. Vitamin D synthesis is also important and the skin absorbs vitamin D from the UV radiation of the sun that plays an important part in protecting skin from direct sunlight. Hence it is always recommended to use sunscreen when going out in sunlight.

7. Social function

Skin plays a vital role in skin colouration. Melanin plays an important part in skin colour synthesis. In day-to-day life there is competition on how people look and what is their skin condition and skin tone, do they look good, or are they dark-toned? Hence skin works as an important thing for social functioning. People are judged for their looks on based on their colour, presence of skin condition, skin scarring. Hence social functioning of skin matters a lot. 

8. Storing Blood

Skin acts as a supply and storage for blood. The skin has many layers and underneath there are many blood vessels that store blood for circulation and supply in the body.

Take Away

Skin is the largest organ in the human body that plays a vital role in different functions of the body from protection to blood supply and storage. Skin condition and skin tone is the key factor for every youth, they judge each other based on skin color and physique. Hence, it has become important to maintain a skincare routine at home so that your skin can function well in maintaining moisture level, secretion, absorption, sensation, and thermoregulation.