What you need to know about your skin

Do you know what gives us beauty? What makes one say, “You look beautiful” and another “You look old”, “You are aging gracefully”.

It is your SKIN, yes your SKIN! The skin covers the skeleton (the body framework).Its arrangement, tone, texture and appearance gives you that charming outlook. The skin is the largest organ of the body. It protects us from germs, help us regulate our temperature, remove waste products and also produces Vitamin D.These are things worth knowing of the skin, that’s why skincare and beauty products are worth the spend to keep the skin ever alluring and supple

The skin basically has two layers:

  1. Epidermis
  2. Dermis

Epidermis

This is the outermost part of the skin. It acts like a coat and it is waterproof in nature. The thickness varies across the body, with areas exposed to friction (e.g. palm, sole of the feet) being the thickest. This is to enable protection of the underlying structures. The epidermis has no blood vessels (‘tubes’ that carries blood), consequent upon that, nourishment is gotten from diffusion of nutrients from the dermis. The epidermis doesn’t just lie flat on the dermis. Viewed sectionally, it is seen locked in with the dermis in a ridge-and-valley pattern. This is a vital arrangement because it prevents the epidermis from easily sloughing off from the dermis.

Major cells found in this layer are: those that produce melanin which gives us our colour(melanocyte), those that produce keratin which protects our epithelial cells and prevent them from damage and stress that could kill them(keratinocyte) and also those that helps in touch sensation(Merkel cells).

The epidermis has five layers or stratas:

  • Stratum corneum
  • Stratum lucidum
  • Stratum granulosum
  • Stratum spinosum
  • Stratum basale

Dermis

This layer lies below the epidermis, it contains blood vessels that supplies its nutrient and also that of the overlying epidermis.

The dermis contains sweat glands that excretes waste products through sweats that exits from pores in the epidermis. It also contains hair follicles that produces are hairs. Sebaceous glands are also found here, they produce the oil that lubricates our skin and also makes it waterproof, this substances is called sebum. Oily skin is as a result of excessive production of sebum, this could plug our sweat pores and thereby lead to the formation of pimples or acne.

Collagen is a protein that is vital in the foundation of our skin, it gives the skin firmness, provides support and also help in its structure. The youthfulness of our skin is also produced majorly by collagen. Its breakdown causes wrinkling of our skin. The production of collagen decreases with age, no wonder as we age our skins begin to wrinkle. Smoking, sun exposure and injury could damage it.

Talk about the skin returning back to its original state after stretching, then what springs up is elastin.

Elastin helps in the recoil of the skin after stress. Loss of elastin results to sagged skin. Excessive stretching as seen in pregnancy also breaks down elastin. It also helps in maintaining the youthfulness of the skin. Sun exposure could also damage our elastin.

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