Skin-the largest Organ of our body: function and structure

Skin-the largest Organ of our body: function and structure

Skin is not just a body covering to hold the body substances inside . It is one of the most active and vital organ of our body,functioning in numerous ways . It is the largest organ of our body that accounts for 15% of an adult human’s total body weight. Primarily the skin is an almost impermeable barrier.. The skin is the outermost covering which is stretched all over in the form of a layer.

Functions of the skin – The skin serves many vital functions such as follows:
One of the primary function of the skin is to provide protection to the under lying tissues from mechanical shock. It prevent the excessive loss of body fluids by evaporation . It prevents the entry of harmful substances or disease causing germs. Most importantly our skin protect our body against harmful ultraviolet light
Our skin is one of the vital sensory organ which is responsible for the sensation of touch,pain,pressure,heat,etc.

Skin also works as a temperature regulator by amazing mechanism of preventing loss of heat in cold weather and facilitating loss of heat in hot weather.
The skin stores food in the form of a layer of fat .
Skin also act as a excretory organ as it is also responsible for the release of excess water and salt in the form of sweat.
The skin can synthesise vitamin D when exposed to sunshine.
The skin on our finger and palms forms ridges and grooves which provide an efficient grip.

Structure of the skin – Microscopically the skin is consisted of two layers – the outer epidermis and the inner dermis.

Epidermis – It is the outer thinner part of the skin . It is formed of stratified epithelium piled up layer after layer . It is devoid of blood vessels at all places . It has three regions – (1) outermost cornified layer (2) middle granular layer and (3) inner malpighian layer.
Dermis- The dermis is the inner thicker layer of connective tissue made of elastic fibres. It is tough and flexible. Some places it is thick like palms and soles and in some places very thin as in eyelids. Dermis contains several other structures – blood vessels,nerve fibre,sweat gland etc. Leather obtained from the hides of the animal is actually the dermis part of the skin.
Derivatives of the skin – The special derivatives of the human skin includes the following:
Sebaceous glands
Sweat glands
Mammary glands
Meibomian glands
Ceruminous glands

     Thus it could be said that skin is the “master of many tasks”.