Skin, part of the Integumentary system, is the largest organ in the body. If stretched out flat, skin would measure about 20 feet. The skin weighs about seven to ten pounds.
Skin covers the whole body, with the exception of the eyes, and acts as a protective shield for the internal organs. Skin is also very adaptable, and can withstand many different temperatures and environments.
Skin is responsible for the sense of touch, temperature regulation and protection. Skin holds the internal organs in place and protects them from external injury. The skin also acts as a barrier for water loss and is waterproof.
Skin is responsible for protection of outside organisms like bacteria, fungi and virus. As long as there is no break in the skin, the skin can do this job effectively. There are many reasons why we should take good care of our skin.
The skin acts to protect against infection by:
Creating a barrier
Skin is the first line of defense against bacteria, virus and fungi. If the skin has any kind of opening in it, as in a cut or even a scape, bacteria can get in and cause internal infections. This is why it's so important to take good care of our skin.
The outer layer of skin is constantly shedding. This layer is called the epidermis. The epidermis, when it sheds its cells, is also shedding any bacteria that gets on the skin. Shedding the bacteria helps so that it doesn't have a chance to enter the skin and cause infection.
The skin excretes a chemical defense through secretions containing antimicrobial proteins. These microbes traps any bacteria that tries to enter the skin and excretes them so they can't cause infection.
Sebum is another chemical secreted by the skin. The sebum, the oil that the skin secretes, helps destroy harmful bacteria that can cause infection.
Taking care of your skin should be part of a daily routine. Broken or damaged skin cannot protect you effectively against bacteria that can cause infection.
If the integrity of your skin is compromised, treatment is necessary to heal and protect this important organ. If the injury is serious, medical attention is needed to treat and heal the injury so that your skin can continue to protect you against bacteria.