When we think of “Integumentary System”, majority the first thing that would come into our mind is “skin”. Skin signifies our color, beauty, appearance, or primarily our physical appearance because it covers our inner parts of the body as a protection. Before I start sharing things which I learned about Integumentary System, I just want to post some inspiring quotes that I read that contains the word “skin”.
> “The black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.” (Marcus Garvey)
> “Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin.” (Gwyneth Paltrow)
> “Year wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” (Douglas MacArthur)
> People grow old only by deserting their ideals, MacArthur had written. Year may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope as old as your despair. In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber. So long as it receives message of beauty, hope, cheer and courage, so long are you young. When your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and then only, are you grown old. And then, indeed as the ballad says, you just fade away.” (Douglas MacArthur)
> “One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.” (Franklin Thomas)
> “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judge by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)
The integumentary system consists of the skin and accessory structures. The word integument means covering. This system formed by the skin, hair, nails, and associated glands, enwraps the body. It is the most visible organ system and one of the most complex. Diverse in both form and function—from delicate eyelashes to the thick skin of the soles—the integumentary system protects the body from the outside world and its many harmful substances. It utilizes the Sun’s rays while at the same time shielding the body from their damaging effects. In addition, the system helps to regulate body temperature, serves as a minor excretory organ, and makes the inner body aware of its outer environment through sensory receptors.
Integumentary system protects us from the external environment. Other functions include sensation, temperature regulation, vitamin D production, and excretion of small amounts of waste products. These things are only functional with the help of its parts. There are three major parts of tissue—Epidermis that prevents water loss, protect against abrasion, and produces vitamin D; Dermis that’s responsible for the structural strength and flexibility; and Subcutaneous tissue that provides energy storage. Aside from these three, there are five parts under Epidermis— Stratum corneum for structural strength and prevention of water loss; Stratum lucidum for dispersion of keratohyalin; Stratum granulosum for the production keratohyalin granules; Stratum spinosm that products keratin fibers; and Startum basale for the production of cells of the most superficial strata and protects against ultraviolet light. While there are two parts under Dermis—Papillary layer for the formation of fingerprints and footprints; and Reticular layer that forms cleavage lines.
The quotes above are inspired by the skin’s appearance that deals with the thickness and thinness of skin, and by the color. Thick skin is found in areas subjected to pressure or friction, while thin skin covers the rest of the body and is more flexible than thick skin. Skin color is influenced by melanin, albinism, erythema, cyanosis, and carotene. Melanin is responsible for skin, hair, and eye color. Melanin provides protection against ultraviolet light from the sun. Albinism is a recessive genetic trait that causes a deficiency or an absence of melanin. Erythema is increased redness of the skin resulting from increased blood flow through the skin. Cyanosis is a blush skin color caused by a decrease in the blood oxygen content. Carotene causes the skin to develop a yellowish tint.
Possible diseases and injuries to the human integumentary system include— rash, blister, athlete’s foot, infection, sunburn, skin cancer, albinism, acne, herpes, cold sores, mosquito bites, impetigo, rubella, STD, and cancer.