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INTRODUCTIONThe integumentary system consists of theskin, hair, nails, glands, and nerves. Its mainfunction is to act as a barrier to protect thebody from the outside world. It alsofunctions to retain body fluids, protectagainst disease, eliminate waste products,and regulate body temperature. In order todo these things, the integumentary systemworks with all the other systems of yourbody, each of which has a role to play inmaintaining the internal conditions that ahuman body needs to function properly.
FUNCTIONS OF THE INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEM The integumentary system has many functions, most of which are involved in protecting you and regulating your body’s internal functions in a variety of ways: •Protects the bodys internal living tissues and organs •Protects against invasion by infectious organisms •Protects the body from dehydration •Protects the body against abrupt changes in temperature •Helps dispose of waste materials •Acts as a receptor for touch, pressure, pain, heat, and cold •Stores water and fat
HOW DOES THE INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEM WORK WITH OTHERSYSTEMS?Your body is a complicated system that consistsof many subsystems that help to keep itfunctioning properly. These subsystems serve avariety of purposes and require neededmaterials to function properly, as well asmeans of communicating information to otherparts of the body. Thus, the skin and other partsof the integumentary system work with othersystems in your body to maintain and supportthe conditions that your cells, tissues, andorgans need to function properly.
The skin is one of the first defense mechanisms inyour immune system. Tiny glands in the skinsecrete oils that enhance the barrier function ofthe skin. Immune cells live in the skin and providethe first line of defense against infections.By helping to synthesize and absorb vitamin D, theintegumentary system works with the digestivesystem to encourage the uptake of calcium fromour diet. This substance enters the bloodstreamthough the capillary networks in the skin. Healthyfunctioning of your skin also is related to thedigestive system because the digestion andassimilation of dietary fats and oils are essentialfor the body to be able to make the protectiveoils for the skin and hair.
The integumentary system also worksclosely with the circulatory system andthe surface capillaries through your body.Because certain substances can enter thebloodstream through the capillarynetworks in the skin, patches can be used todeliver medications in this manner forconditions ranging from heart problems(nitroglycerin) to smoking cessation(nicotine patches).
The skin also is important in helping toregulate your body temperature. If you aretoo hot or too cold, your brain sends nerveimpulses to the skin, which has three ways toeither increase or decrease heat loss fromthe bodys surface: hairs on the skin trapmore warmth if they are standing up, andless if they are lying flat; glands under theskin secrete sweat onto the surface of theskin in order to increase heat loss byevaporation if the body is too hot;capillaries near the surface can open whenyour body needs to cool off and close whenyou need to conserve heat.
Your skin plays a vital role in yourbody as regards the sense of touch.The nervous system depends onneurons embedded in your skin to sensethe outside world. It processes inputfrom your senses, including touch, andinitiates actions based on those inputs.For example, when you stub your toe,nerve cells in the foot send signals upthe leg, through the spinal cord, and upinto the brain. The nerve cellconnections in the brain sense thesesignals as pain.
As well as interacting with the body systems asexplained above, the integumentary systemalso contributes to numerous physiologicalprocesses, especially those involved in theregulation of the body’s internal environmentso as to maintain a stable condition. Anexample is provided by the way that the skinhelps in temperature regulation by changes inthe pattern of blood supply to the skin and bysweating, as mentioned above. http://sciencenetlinks.com/student-teacher- sheets/integumentary-system/
Parts of the SkinOur skin is a complex engineered covering.The skin has a slightly acidic coating of oilat the surface. This coating protects theskin against some bacteria. Below thesurface is a complex of sweat and oilglands, hair follicles, blood vessels,nerves, and muscle tissue. These are heldtogether by a tough connective tissuecalled collagen.
Collagen is very important indetermining the health of theskin. The relative health of thecollagen determines thecontour of the skin, howwrinkled and lined it is. Healthycollagen is often called solublecollagen, because it can absorband hold moisture.
Below the collagen is a layer offat and muscle, which providessome contour and acts as a cushionand as insulation.The skin has three layers. Theinner most layer is known as thelower dermis, the middle layer iscalled the dermis, and the outerlayer is known as the epidermis.
Lower DermisThe various glands such as the oil andsweat glands originate in the lowerdermis. From here, they rise to thesurface of the skin to eliminate wastematter. Lower dermis also acts as acushion for the rest of the skin. Itcontains the finely distributedmuscles of the skin which regulatebody temperature.
DermisThe dermis is the layer that lies underneaththe epidermis, and it is composed entirely ofliving cells. It consists of bundles of toughfibers which give your skin its elasticity,firmness and strength. There are also bloodvessels, which feed vital nutrients to theseareas.The most important function of dermis isrespiration. The countless tiny blood vessels,or capillaries end here in finely-drawnnetworks, from where they feed the outer skinlayer. Dermis also determines the tone of theskin.
EpidermisThis is the top layer of skin and the one youcan actually see. It protects your body frominvasion and infection and helps to seal inmoisture. Its built up of several layers ofliving cells which are then topped by sheetsof dead cells. Its constantly growing, withnew cells being produced at its base. Theyquickly die, and are pushed up to the surfaceby the arrival of new ones, These dead cellseventually flake away, which means thatevery new layer of skin is another chance tohave a soft, glowing complexion.
The lower levels of living cells arefed by the blood supply fromunderneath, whereas the upper deadcells only need water to ensuretheyre kept plump and smooth.The epidermis is responsible for yourcoloring, as it holds the skins pigment.It ranges in thickness from l/20-th ofan inch on the palms and soles, to1/200-th of an inch on the face.
The skin contains the following specializedorgans:Sebaceous glands are tiny organs whichusually open into hair follicles on thesurface of your skin. They produce an oilysecretion, called sebum, which is yourskins natural lubricant.The sebaceous glands are mostconcentrated on the scalp and face -particularly around the nose, cheeks, chinand forehead, which is why these areusually the most oily areas of your skin.
Sweat glands are all over your body.There are millions of them and their mainfunction is to regulate your bodytemperature. When sweat evaporates onthe skins surface, the temperature ofyour skin drops.Hairs grow from the hair follicles. Theycan help keep your body warm bytrapping air underneath them. There areno hairs on the soles of your feet andpalms of your hands. 1stholistic.com/Beauty/skin/skin_parts-of-the-skin.htm
Skin Imbalances & Agingthe skin can develop 1000different ailmentsthe most common skin disordersresult from allergies orinfectionsless common are burns and skincancers
A. AllergiesContact Dermatitis- allergic response eg. poison ivy, metals, etcB. Infections1. viraleg. cold sores herpes simplexespecially around lips and oral mucosa2. Fungaleg. athletes foot
3. Bacterialeg. boils and carbuncles-inflammation of hair follicle andsebaceous glands esp. on dorsal side ofneckeg. impetigo Streptococcus infection
C. Genetic Diseases1. Psoriasis - chronic, noninfectious skin diseaseskin becomes dry and scaly, often with pustules - many varietiescycle of skin cell production increases by 3-4x’snormal- stratum corneum gets thick as dead cellsaccumulate seems to be a genetic componentoften triggered by trauma, infection , hormonalchanges or stress
2. Hypertrichosis (human werewolves)patients show dense hair growth on facesand upper bodies due to malfunction ofgene on x chromosome‡ a gene silenced during evolution hasbeen reactivated
D. Burnstoo much sunlight or heat categorizedby degree of penetration of skin layer1st degree burnsskin is inflamed, redsurface layer of skin is shed2nd degree burnsdeeper injuryblisters form as fluid builds up beneathouter layers of epidermis
3rd degree burnsfull thickness of skin is destroyedsometimes even subcutaneous tissuesresults in ulcerating woundstypically results in catastrophic lossof fluids: Dehydration electrolyte imbalancesalso highly susceptible to infectionsslow recovery (from cells of hairfollicles if they survive; otherwisemust heal from margins of wound)
may require: autografts cadaver skin pig skinprognosis may depend on extent ofdamageextend of burn damage estimated by “ruleof 9’s”
E. Skin Cancercaused by excessive or chronic exposure toUV, xrays or radiation- most forms progress slowly and areeasily treated-a few are deadly1. Basal Cell Carcinomaleast malignant- most commonstratum basale cant form keratinlose boundary layer between epidermisand dermisresults in tissue erosion and ulceration99%% of these cancers are fully cured
2. Squamous Cell Carcinomacancer of the cells in stratum spinosumusually induced by suncells grow rapidly and grow into thelymphatic tissues
3. Malignant Melanomacancer of pigment cells = melanocytesrare –1% of skin cancersdeadly, poor chance of cure once itdevelopsoften begins with moles
F. Aging Skineffects often become noticeable by late 40’sHair - thinner and grayer as melanocytes dieand mitosis slowsOil glands - sebaceous glands atrophyskin and hair become drierSkin Layers - mitosis declines, collagen is lostfrom dermisskin becomes thinner and translucentlooser and sagging as elastic fibers are lostand dermal papillae smooth outfewer blood vessels and those remaining aremore fragile
more bruising, slower healing and rosacea‡ tinydilated blood vessels esp in nose and cheeksage spots – accumulation of pigment cellsloss of immune cells and fibroblasts makes skinmore susceptible to recurring infectionsthermoregulation is less efficient due to loss ofblood vessels and glands‡ more vulnerable to hypothermia andheatstrokephotoaging = an acceleration of skin aging due tooverexposure to sun (UV)accounts for 90% of the changes that people findmedically troubling or cosmeticallydisagreeable
G. Autoimmune Diseaseeg. alopecia areatacauses hair to fall out in small roundpatches -2% of population (4.7M in US) havesome form of it hair loss is usually shortterm and limited to a few patches in rarecases causes permanent loss of all bodyhair