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The Skin as an Organ

  • Posted on: Jul 27 2022
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The skin is an organ. What does that mean?

it means that skin has multiple functions in addition to its appearance.  the skin has essential function in protecting against external stimuli like ultraviolet light, bacteria and viruses as well as temperature regulation. it is integrated into vitamin D production in concert with other organs. maintaining intact skin so it can serve this functions is a goal of a dermatologist. 

How does the skin protect us from invaders/help us with immunity?

intact skin can prevent pathogens from gaining a foothold. A disrupted skin barrier allows bacteria and viruses to penetrate deeper into the skin and cause infection.  the skin tried to maintain a slightly acid ph to keep bacteria out.   whir blood cells from the body constantly circulate through the skin conducting immune surveillance.  nerve receptors in the skin alert us potential threats like a burn or an insect bite. skin also has  antibacterial secretions.

How does it sheath the muscles, bones, internal organs, nervous system? 

if not for the skin,  the water content in muscles nerves and other organs would rapidly dry out and then lose function.  the collagen and adipose (fatty) layer of the skin act as as natural shock absorbers reducing trauma to deeper parts of your body.

Does it have any other physiological functions?

The skin makes melanin to protect against excess UV radiation    the skin helps synthesize Vitamin D which is essential for many body functions. The skin is the largest organ in your body  and about 15% of your body weight   rather than a call it a super organ, i think it’s part of a team of organs that work together. The sense of touch is powerful.  How else would we hold a newborn. Special receptors can detect pain pressure and temperatuire. 

How can you care for your skin from the inside out?

A healthy diet can be anti inflammatory     rapid weight changes can contribute to stretch marks    smoking can cause free radical production and prematurely age your skin 

What does the skin really need to be healthy?  

The skin needs to maintain its slightly acidic ph and keeps its barrier intact   so unless you skin is oily avoid scrubs and i recommend not to exfoliate more than once a week.   Traditional soaps like Ivory have a ph of 10 or 11 so synthetic mike cleansers like Cetaphil or Cerave are ph neutral. 


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