Skin the largest organ of the body and one of the most complicated. It has many roles in the maintenance of life and health, but also has many potential problems. Adults carry some 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) and 22 square feet (2 square meters) of it.
Our amazing skin holds everything in our body and plays a crucial role in providing an airtight, watertight and flexible barrier between the outside world.
Within our body is a complex system that few people ever understand, and it is our skin acts as a barrier which protects the highly regulated systems inside. It protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate body temperature, vitamin production, and permits the sensations of touch, heat, and cold.
As a barrier, skin is protecting against water loss as well as physical and chemical injury, and bugs. As a shield, it helps us fight off bugs, allergens, toxins, and carcinogens via the parts of our immune system that exist in our skin.
Skin acts as a thermostat for out body by dilating and constricting our blood vessels near the skin surface, controlling the transfer of heat out of the body. Temperature is also regulated by evaporative cooling due to sweat production and by the insulating effect of erect hairs on the skin surface. Heat loss is also affected by the insulating layer of subcutaneous fat.
Protecting us from UV radiation, the skin produces melanin which is a complex polymer derived from the amino acid tyrosine. Melanin is responsible for determining skin and hair color, and is present in the skin to varying degrees, depending on how much a population has been exposed to the sun historically. Melanin is generally considered to be the perfect protection against UV-induced photodamage although up to a point as over exposure can have adverse effects.
Sense of Touch
Through giving us the sense of touch, skin provides interaction with physical surroundings, allowing all fine and gross motor activities, and allowing pleasurable and sexual stimulation. Skin is a huge sensor packed with nerves for keeping the brain in touch with the outside world. At the same time, skin allows us free movement, proving itself an amazingly versatile organ.
Our skin will provide signals to our brain that we are being hurt. These signals helps us react quickly to prevent a worse injury.
When we feel the heat of a fire, we become careful not to get too close. When we feel the pressure of sharp object, we move away to avoid being impaled.
These responses are quick and sometimes lifesaving. Keeping skin healthy increases the sensitivity to outside threats, which enables our bodies to react more quickly to dangerous situations.
Skin Makes Vitamin D
The production of Vitamin D by the skin being exposed to our sun helps prevent many diseases including osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, obesity, and neurological diseases. This manufacturing of vitamin D helps convert calcium into healthy bones and a number of other functions throughout our body.
Wound healing by skin in a wonder to behold as it self-heals, mends, and closes off to retain the protective seal, unless the body is severely compromised.
We also appreciate our skin for its beauty and physical attraction, as the quality and condition of the skin greatly contributes to the perception of health, wellness, youth, and beauty.
Removing Waste through our Pores
Skin is a passageway that rids our body of toxins, and helps prevent chemical and waste build-up.
Clean pores enable your body to expel waste; keeping your pores clean provides a clear exit strategy for all kinds of unwanted substances that accumulate in our bodies.
Pores that are congested and blocked with chemicals and pollutants prevent skin from functioning properly. Producing natural sweats allows the body to move unwanted materials out of the body, and bathing removes them from the skin surface.
Steam bathing, and taking special baths will open the pores, assist in the removal of what needs to come out and stimulates natural sweating. My teacher Aunty Margaret Machado would tell us as she sent us to her hot Steamer for a hot, wet sweat, “Steaming allows the body to cry”.
Skin replaces the outer layers continually as new tissues moves up from below the surface and replaces the top layer that sheds, and this process takes about a month.
Continual epidermal shedding aids in removal of pathogens that may have colonized the skin. Excellent hygiene aids epidermal shedding, ensuring that your skin can function properly to remove pathogens. Wet or dry brushing of the skin helps to push the old skin off the body and dry brushing also stimulates our lymphatic system.
The food we eat also has a huge affect on the condition of our skin. Many skin conditions are treated from within the body starting with the proper diets that support the production of healthy skin.
The skin is unique in many ways, but no other organ demands so much attention and concern in both states of disease and health. Pay attention to your skin as it may signal you when you need to change something in your life.
~ Carolyn Thompson
Copyright © 2013 – 2021 by Carolyn Thompson and Enigmatic Proprietary. All rights reserved.