An In-Depth Analysis Of The Various Components Of The Largest Organ Of The Body
Our skin is the largest organ in the body. It is made of various components such as proteins, water, lipids, minerals and chemicals. It shields the body from harmful pollution and infections. The skin is equipped with nerves that help sense heat, pain, touch, cold and pressure.
Skin has the capability of regenerating and renewing itself. It can change for the better or for the worse. Hence it is important to maintain the health of the skin by taking proper care.
What are the different components of the skin?
The skin consists of 3 different layers namely epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. Below is a detailed analysis of each layer.
This is the outer most layer of the skin. It is translucent and protects the body from environmental factors. The topmost portion of epidermis consists of dead skin cells. This is shed on a regular basis. The innermost layer contains basal cells. These cells are entrusted with the responsibility of renewal of skin cells.
Keratin is a protein which is made by cells present inside the epidermis. It contains melanin which is responsible for giving the color of the skin.
Epidermis also stores water. The more water it stores, the more youthful the skin will be. The ability of retaining water reduces with age and other environmental factors. This causes dehydration of the skin making it look older.
This thick middle layer of the skin consists of 2 fibres namely:
Collagen is a protein that is found in surplus in the skin. The skin comprises of 75% collagen. This protein is responsible for fighting off fine lines and wrinkles. As a person ages the production of collagen gradually decreases. Pollution and other environmental factors also bears a negative impact on collagen production.
It is found along with collagen and gives the frame and structure for the skin and other organs of the body. Like collagen, the level of elastin in the body decreases. This causes the skin to sag and develop wrinkles.
The dermis also consists of lymph and blood vessels along with hair follicles, sweat glands and sebaceous glands
Sebaceous Gland is responsible for generating oil that prevents the skin from drying. The oily substance is called sebum. The sebum performs the following functions:
- Minimizes the loss of water from the skin surface
- Acts as a protective shield around skin and keeps it safe from infection causing bacteria and fungi.
- The glands attached to the hair follicles contribute to body odor.
Sweat glands produce sweat when the body is hot or is under stress. This helps to cool the body. It is located all over the body, especially near the palms, forehead and underarms.
This is the fatty layer of the skin. It is found between the dermis and muscles or bones. It contains blood vessels that are responsible maintaining the temperature of the body. It also protects the important organs of the body. As the person ages, the number of tissues found in this layer reduces. This causes the skin to sag.