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LabReportIntegumentarySystem

Skinisthemainportionoftheintegumentarysystem.Ithasthreelayers:theepidermis,
dermis,andhypodermis.Theepidermisismadeupmostlyofcellsandkeratinocytes.Itis
epithelialtissueandithasthepossibilityofconsistingoffivelayers.Thefirstlayersarethe
stratumspinosum,stratumgranulosum,stratumlucidum(onlyinhairlessskinsuchasthe
plantarregionoffeet),andstratumcorneum.Thebottommostlayeristhestratumbasale,
whichcontainsmerkelcells,melanocytes,langerhans,andkeratinocytes.Thesecondlayerof
theskinisthedermis.Itisconnectivetissueandconsistsofsweatglands,nerves,meissner
corpuscles,paciniancorpuscles,gelgroundsubstance,capillarybeds,arteries,veins,and
muchmore.Thethirdlayeroftheskinisthehypodermissubcutaneous.Thislayerisjustthe
layeroffatforprotection.Ithasadiposetissue,andinsomeplacesitcanalsoconsistofareolar
tissue.Theselayersoftheskinworktogethertoachievethefunctionsoftheskin.
Skinhasfourmainfunctions:protection,sensation,insulation,andtemperature
regulation.Skinactsasacushionagainstinsulttothebody(Tamarkin,2011).Withoutskin
anythingthathitsapersonwoulddirectlyhittheirorgans.Thenervesanddifferentcellsinthe
skinworktogethertogathersensoryinformationandsendittothecerebralcortexinthebrain.
Thatisthefunctionofsensory.Mostlythehypodermissubcutaneousworksasalayerfor
insulation.Also,skinhasbloodvesselsthatconstrictanddilatetocontrolbloodflowintheskinto
aidintemperatureregulation.

Figure1.Peoplecanbeidentified
throughlipprintsthesamewayas
throughfingerprints.

Figure2.Sweatglandsformuniqueridges
intheskinthroughtheridgesofthepapillary
layerofthedermis.

Figure3.Fingernailsarehard
keratinizedcells.

Figure4.Frecklesarecreatedbyan
overproductionofmelanin.

Cutaneoussensoryreceptioninvolvesmanypartsofthebody,anddifferentpartsofthe
bodyfeelmorethanothers.Thefingertipsfeelthemostwithanabruptincreasefromthemain
partofthefingertothefingertip(Johansson,Vallbo,1979).Sensoryreceptioninvolvestheskin,
nerves,touchreceptors,andthebrain.Whathappensisthatthecutaneouslayerstouchan
object,andthetouchreceptorscollectdatasuchastemperature,texture,andsize.Thetouch
receptorsareabletopickuptheinformation,becausetheskincanconformtothecontoursof
theobject,formingamirrorimageofitsshape(Gardner,2010,p.2).Primaryafferentfibersthen
pickuptheinformationandenterthecentralnervoussystemthroughthedorsalroots...ofthe
fifthcranialnerve(Gardner,2010,p.2).Thisinformationtravelsthroughthenervesuntilit
reachesthebraininthecerebralcortex.Hereinformationforsafety(heatonastove)issorted
outandsenttootherareasofthebraintobesentbackouttothebodilynervestomoveapartof
thebodyifitisneeded.

Figure5.Atableofthedensityoftouchreceptorsinregionsofasubjectsbody.

Figure7.Ahomunculusdepictingthedensityoftouchreceptorsinasubjectsbody.

Sweatglandshelpwiththermoregulation,thebodystemperaturehomeostasis.When
theskinisexposedtocoolertemperaturesthebloodvesselssurroundingthesweatglands
constrict,sobloodistakenawayfromthesweatglandsandtheydonotproducemoisture.
Likewise,whentheskinisexposedtoheatthebloodvesselsdilatecausingmorebloodtofillthe
vessels,andtheheatfromthebloodcausesthesweatglandstoproducemoisture.Different
regionsofthebodyhavedenseramountsofsweatglandsandalargerfunctionin
thermoregulation.Thisisseeninthelimbs.The[resting]temperatureoftheskincoveringthe
extremitiesislowerthanthatoftheheadandtorso(Bierman,1936).However,duringtimesof
heatorcoldthetemperaturewillriseorfalltoprotecttocorebodytemperature.Duringhot
times,hotbloodwillbesenttotheextremitiestobecooled.Thisiswhythesteadystatewater
fluxthroughtheskinfromtheabdomenisabout10%ofthatobservedfromtheplantarsurfaceof
thefootand30%ofthatfromthepalm(Taylor2013).Therefore,vascularityanddensityofthe
sweatglandsworktogethertoachievethermoregulation.

Figure8.Achartdepictingthetimeittakesdifferentregionsinthebodytoreturntobaseline
temperatureafterexercise.


Figure9.Achartdepictingthetimeittakesthedifferentregionsinthebodytoreturntobaseline
temperatureaftericing.

Figure10.Abargraphshowingthedensityofeccrinesweatglandsindifferentregionsofthe
body.

Inconclusion,theintegumentarysystemisanintricatesystemofcellsandvesselsthat
protectsthebodyinmanyways.Theskinisthebodysfirstlineofdefense.Notonlydoestactile
receptioncomefromtheskin,itisalsoresponsibleforthermoregulation.Thermoregulationis
donebythebloodtakingheatfromoverheatedregionsinthebody,andtakingittotheskinbythe
bloodvesselsdilating.Thehotbloodactivatesthesweatglandstoproducesweattoensurethe
bodydoesnotoverheat.Toprotectthecorebodytemperaturefromdippingdowntoolow,when
thebodyisexposedtolowtemperaturelevelsthebloodvesselsconstrict,takingbloodaway
fromthesweatglands,sotheydonotproduceanycoolingagent.Also,mostofthe
thermoregulationismaintainedinregionsofthebodylikethepalm.Thisisshownbythepalm
havingmoresweatglands.Onethingthatisnotedisthatmanyofthebodysfunctionsare
logical.Theyarelikeawellkept,welloiledmachine.
Furthermore,skinisusedfortactilesensation.Thefingertipshavethebestabilitytofeel,
becausetheyhavethedensestamountoftouchreceptorsthananyotherregioninthebody.
Skinisusedtofeeltexturesandshapesoftheobjectsittouchesthroughcellsanditsown
structure.Becauseoftheelasticityofthelayersofskin,itcreatesamirrorimageindentinthe
skin.Fromthisindent,cellssuchasthepaciniancorpuscle,merkelcells,andmeissner
corpusclepickupinformationabouttheobjectandsendittothecerebralcortexthroughthe
dorsalroot.Withoutskin,therewouldbenotactilesensation,nofeeling.

WorksCited
Bierman,W.,(1936,April4).TheTemperatureoftheSkinSurface.Retrievedfrom
http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1155856.

Gardner,E.,P.,(2012,May19).Touch.Retrievedfrom
http://www.cns.nyu.edu/~david/courses/sm12/Readings/GardnerELS2010.pdf.

Johansson,R.,S.,Vallbo,A.,B.,(1979,January1).TactileSensibilitiesintheHand:Relative
andAbsoluteDensitiesofFourtypesofMechanoreceptiveUnitsintheSkin.Retrieved
fromhttp://jp.physoc.org/content/286/1/283.short

Tamarkin,D.,A.,(2011).STCCFoundationPress:SkinFunction.Retrievedfrom
http://faculty.stcc.edu/AandP/AP/AP1pages/Units1to4/skin/skin1.htm.

Taylor,N.,AS.,MachadoMoreira,C.,A.,(2013,February1).Regionalvariationsin
transepidermalwaterloss,eccrinesweatglanddensity,sweatsecretionratesand
electrolytecompositioninrestingandexercisinghumans.Retrievedfrom
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3710196/.