The Skin Hair and Nails Essay

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The Skin, Hair and nails system Chris Samuels-Hannan This assignment will attempt to identify, describe and explain the function of the skin hair and nails. Unit Ref: T/502/9093 Unit title: Anatomical and Physiology: Structure of the Body: Ref 1.8 and 2.8 The skin, we are told in many anatomy and physiology books, is the largest organ of the body. It completely covers the body and is thickest in the areas around the hands and feet. Structurally the skin is made up of two layers with a further subcutaneous area under the two layers. The epidermis (the outer layer) is made up of several layers itself. It does not contain any blood vessels or nerve endings as such; its deeper layers are soaked in an interstitial fluid that is transferred from the dermis and this provides oxygen and nutrients. The dermis (the inner layer) is made up of tough elastic fibres, consisting of collagen and elastic fibres. It is noteworthy that when these elastic fibres are ruptured then stretch marks will develop. This is usually brought about due to pregnancy or obesity. The collagen fibres bind together with water and give the skin its elasticity and tensile strength. However, this is known to dwindle during the aging process and thus, gives rise to wrinkles and skin is more prone to injury The dermis is the location of the main structures associated with the function of the skin. There are lymph vessels, sensory nerve endings, sweat glands and ducts, hair, arrector pili, muscles and sebaceous glands. (Ross and Wilson p358) However, the skin is not just a series of layers; it has important functions to perform. The skin forms a protective barrier from germs, chemicals, dehydration and light trauma. Regulation of temperature is also important for the body’s ability to function. By the act of sweating or the secretion of

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