|What is the skin cells purpose?|
|Question Date: 2017-02-08|
Thank you for the great question!
The top layer of skin, which is the largest
organ in the human body, is called the
epidermis. The top layer of skin is primarily
made up of cells called keratinocytes. The
main purpose of these cells is to make a physical
barrier between the person and the environment,
basically to keep water in the body and harmful
things out of the body.
Skin cells protect against pathogens like bacteria
and viruses, in addition to environmental threats
like extreme heat and UV radiation from sunlight.
Other interesting facts about skin cells show
that their purpose is to help defend the body
against the outside world. For example, the
epidermis contains no blood vessels, allowing the
skin to regulate temperature between the body and
the outside world.
One final fact, because the epidermis does not
contain blood vessels, cells on the body’s surface
absorb the oxygen they need to survive from the
surrounding air. Pretty neat!
The purpose of skin cells are to protect
you. They serve as a first line defense
against things like heat, UV radiation from the
sun, bacteria/parasites/viruses. Your skin
cells produce a protein called melanin,
which gives your skin color. Melanin plays an
important part in absorbing UV radiation and
preventing it from going deeper into your body.
The more melanin you have, the more UV you can
absorb. This is why people with very fair skin
tend to get a sunburn much more easily than those
with darker skin tones. Your skin cells also
provide a physical barrier for things that might
come into the body and harm you (e.g.
bacteria). Skin cells are also known as
epithelial cells. This a general name for
cells that line your body and your body cavities.
Skin cells form a barrier between the inside of
the animal's body and the outside world. The
environment inside of the body is necessary to
keep the animal alive, so loss of skin will result
in death as the outside environment rushes in.
Skin cells have a number of purposes and there
are a few different types of skin cells.
There’s a thin layer of dead cells in the
shallowest layer of skin. These cells have not
only died, they’ve formed a tight wall around
nearly your entire body. This is really important
because you encounter stuff in the environment all
the time that could be dangerous if it got into
your body. Most importantly, these dead skin cells
“waterproof” your body and protect bacteria
from getting into you through your skin. Below
those cells there are alive cells which have more
structural purposes. These cells make the skin
strong and elastic which cushions the body
from the various stresses it might encounter.
Also, there are many nerve endings in the
deeper parts of the skin that can sense touch,
pain, and heat. As you may expect, there are
cells that grow hair and make sweat in the skin.
If you get really deep into the skin, eventually
you find blood vessels and deeper structures like
bones, muscles, and other tissues. So the main
purpose of skin cells are to protect and cushion
the body, sense the environment, and respond to
the environment (this is what sweating would be).
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