The skin is the largest organ of the body. This elastic, protective covering is thinnest on the lips and eyelids and thickest on the palms and soles. Following are the six primary functions of the skin:
Heat regulation – the skin regulates body temperature by sweating, which is the production of moisture by the sweat glands (sudoriferous glands). The evaporation of this moisture enables the body to cool itself.
Absorption – the epidermis layer of the skin contains an acid mantle layer which limits the amount of substances entering though the skin that affect the body to a minor degree.
Secretion – the sebaceous glands excrete oil to lubricate and maintain the health of the skin.
Protection – fat cells provide insulation and protection against trauma to the internal organs. The skin also protects itself from the harmful effects of light and acts as a barrier against the invasion of bacteria.
Excretion – perspiration is the process by which the sweat glands excrete waste materials.
Sensation – nerve endings in the skin allow us to feel heat, cold, touch, pleasure, pressure and pain.