Integumentary System

Ira Kondap 3rd Period

5 Functions of the System

  1. Your skin is a cover, protecting you from germs and injury. It is your body's first line of defense and keeps disease-causing microorganisms out.
  2. It regulates your body temperature and allows excess heat to escape through sweat. When you are cold your skin makes your hair rise up, trapping a layer of air against your skin to keep you warm.
  3. It makes Vitamin D when it comes in contact with ultraviolet rays. Vitamin D helps your digestive system to absorb calcium and is very important to your bone health.
  4. It has many nerve endings. Your skin is a receptor for touch, pressure, pain, heat, and cold.
  5. It protects you from UV radiation. The melanin in your skin defends against the UV rays.

Skin, Hair, and Nails

The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin. It has no blood vessels. It is the darker layer. The top layer of the epidermis is called the Stratum Corneum and is made of dead skin cells. It protects and is slightly acidic. Every minute we lose 30,000-40,000 dead skin cells off the surface of our skin. The bottom layer of the epidermis is called the Stratum Germinativum. It constantly produces more cells by cell division. The dermis is the thick inner layer of skin. It contains lots of sensory cells, blood vessels to regulate body temperature, sebaceous glands, sweat glands, collagen and elastin, and immune cells. Hair is made of dead cells. It grows from the hair follicles in your skin. Every part of your body has hair except for the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. Nails are also a part of the integumentary system. They protect the tips of your fingers and toes. There are no nerve endings in your nails, but the sensitive skin under your nails can feel even the tiniest pressure.

Diseases and Disorders of the Integumentary System Along With Their Treatments

One common disease is acne. Acne is a disorder of the hair and oil glands and is very common. It is under the control of hormonal changes and usually shows up during adolescence. Its symptoms are pimples and red bumps on the face, chest, and back. Some treatments are Vitamin A, salicylic acid (to unplug pores), benzoyl peroxides (to decrease bacteria), and antibiotics (to reduce inflammation). You would consult a dermatologist for this disorder. Another disorder is an ingrown toenail. An ingrown toenail is when the side of a toenail grows into your flesh. It can be caused by improperly trimmed nails, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), and poorly fitted shoes. Symptoms include pain, that can lead to infection and difficulty walking. Some treatments are cutting nails square, hot water soaks, antibiotics, excision and wedge excision, or totally removing the nail. Studies have found that surgical treatments are more effective than non-surgical treatments. Many doctors can treat ingrown toenails but podiatrists are uniquely qualified for it. Skin cancer is another disease of the integumentary system. There are three main types of skin cancer; basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. They all include cells dividing uncontrollably. Some causes of skin cancer are exposure to ultraviolet light, chemical exposure, and hereditary factors. Some symptoms are lesions and marks on the skin. Some treatments are surgical removal and chemotherapy. Surgical or medical oncologists treat cancer.

How Does the System Work With Other Systems?

Your skin works with the digestive system by helping to synthesize and absorb Vitamin D which helps encourage the uptake of calcium in our systems. The integumentary system also works with the circulatory system. There are many surface capillaries that open when your body needs to cool off and close when you need to conserve heat. These are just a few of the systems the integumentary system works with.