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Functions of the Skin (Nursing)

by Jasmine Clark

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    00:01 Now switching gears from the structure of the skin, let's talk about the functions of the skin.

    00:06 There are 6 different functions associated with the skin.

    00:11 We have as thermal regulation, a blood reservoir, protection, cutaneous sensations, excretion and absorption and synthesis of vitamin D.

    00:24 The first function of the skin is thermoregulation.

    00:27 Thermoregulation involves the maintenance of homeostasis by maintaining the body's temperature.

    00:33 For example, if we get very hot, our body will sweat and then the sweat will allow the cooling of the surface of our body due to the evaporative properties of water.

    00:48 Conversely, if we get very cold, we can increase blood flow to the dermis in order to heat up the skin.

    00:58 The skin also serves as a major blood reservoir and interestingly, the dermis has so many blood vessels that it actually holds about 10% of the total blood flow while an adult is at rest.

    01:14 The third function of the skin is protection.

    01:17 it uses multiple ways of protecting things from getting inside the body.

    01:22 First, it uses keratin, lipids, sebum and acidic sweat to block bacteria and other microbes from getting into the body.

    01:33 Melanin is used to block UV rays from damaging the DNA inside of our cells.

    01:39 And macrophages are specialised cells that actually engulf and eat bacteria that are trying to get into the body.

    01:48 A fourth function of the skin is cutaneous sensations.

    01:52 Recall that it's very important for organisms to be able to respond to their environment.

    01:59 The skin contains different types of sensory receptors that are found in different layers of the skin.

    02:05 So for tactile sensations such as touch, pressure vibration and tickle, we have nerve endings found in the papillary layer of the dermis.

    02:17 We also can detect sensations such as warm and cool, or thermal sensations.

    02:24 Finally, pain can also be detected by nerve endings found in the dermis.

    02:31 The fifth function of the skin is excretion and absorption.

    02:36 We are able to eliminate some substances from the body through the skin.

    02:41 As well, we are able to absorb some substances from the external environment into the body cells through the skin.

    02:50 An example of this is transdermal drug administration.

    02:54 So if you've ever heard of the birth control patch or the nicotine patch, this actually delivers drugs through the skin.

    03:05 The final function of the scan and a very important function of the skin is the synthesis of vitamin D.

    03:12 Ultraviolet rays from the sun activate the precursor molecule known as calcitriol that allows for our vitamin D to be made in our body.

    03:23 Vitamin D is absolutely essential for the absorption of calcium that we intake from our food into our gastrointestinal tract.

    03:31 From there, it can be used for building bone and for other processes in the body that require calcium.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Functions of the Skin (Nursing) by Jasmine Clark is from the course Integumentary System – Physiology (Nursing).


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Thermoregulation
    2. Blood reservoir
    3. Helps in synthesis of vitamin D
    4. Excretion and absorption
    5. Helps in synthesis of vitamin C
    1. Tactile sensations
    2. Thermal sensations
    3. Pain
    4. Osmotic sensations
    5. Gustatory sensations

    Author of lecture Functions of the Skin (Nursing)

     Jasmine Clark

    Jasmine Clark


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