This weeks feature - Skin Function

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Skin Function 19 - 03 - 2003

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Skin Function Sunshine greetings to all of you, Let's get straight into the subject of " functions of the skin" Here goes... Because of the vital role played by the skin in the body economy, its tonus or health, should always be maintained at a high level. When we understand the many important functions performed by the various membranes of the total skin, we can appreciate the fact that the skin does serve as a mirror of the inner state of the body health. Obviously, it is not our purpose to go into great detail in this regard, but we can examine some of the more important functions performed by the skin. The skin is a complete factory of many diverse enterprises; manufacturing, distributing, storing, and reproducing a variety of materials. It has very efficient collection, storing and disposal facilities. One of its major functions is that of sensitivity. The human skin is the organ of feeling and touch. It is our chief contact with the world outside of the body. It is highly sensitive to heat, either external or internal. When the body gets overheated, usually from some unusual exertion or from fevers, the skin simply instigates an accelerated evaporation of water from all of its millions of pores, expanding them for this process. In this way excess heat is absorbed to power the transformation of the water to an escaping gas. This process cools the body. When normalcy is once again reached, the skin relaxes and the evaporative process resumes a more normal rate. The skin is also sensitive to cold. We are enabled to survive extremes of external temperatures ranging from well below zero to as high as 100C. When overly chilled, the body simply closes off the pores so that less water or none is evaporated, thus conserving body heat. It is vitally important for the body's internal temperature to be controlled within rather narrow limits so that all the infinite numbers of biochemical processes we call life in action can continue with maximum efficiency. It is known that even a deviation of a single degree of temperature from the norm can be evidence of an existing pathology, of abnormal conditions within the metabolic pathways and byways, especially if the deviation persists for a prolonged period. We must remember that the skin is actually an expansion of the nervous system. It has the ability to transmit two kinds of sensory impulses, that of touch and that of temperature. There are 2 distinct sensations of touch, these being distinguished as pressure and place sensations. The palm of the hand is said to have 40 or 50 such touch spots per square centimeter. All over the body there are small areas which respond to cold, others heat. When it is cold outside, the skin simply closes up, as it were, and folds us in just a little bit more to keep in our body heat. In hot weather, it opens up more. We know that the skin's multitudinous nerve endings are so sensitive that the most minute sensations are duly recorded and appropriate measures transmitted to the nerve centers where they are interpreted and appropriate responses ordered, these then being carried out in due course by the cells of the skin. This almost instantaneous transmission of sensation and the orders for action in response thereto is the reason why it is actually unnecessary to take a cold shower following a warm to hot bath. When exposed to the colder air the pores will close automatically in response to even minute variations in the air temperature. Next week we will analyse the elimination of toxins from the skin. Until then, take care and have a nutty day. The Crazy Nut team P.S. If you have missed any of the previous articles and would like to read them, please visit our archives at

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