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Integumentary system

The skin is one of the most important and interesting aspects of the human body, since it covers and protects our entire body through various layers . Everything that has to do with this issue has to do with the integumentary system , but you will surely ask yourself: is all skin the same system? Are there ways to control the integumentary system ? How can you take care of yourself?

You can answer this and other questions below, where you can find out all the details in this interesting article that will clarify each of the doubts and concerns. Do not stop reading until the end and prepare to value your skin even more than you thought you would.

What is the integumentary system?

As you have already seen, it is a system where the skin is the main component , hand in hand with structures that are called appendages, which are known as sweat glands, nails, hair and sebaceous glands. In some animals this system can be reflected through scales and feathers.

In other words, it is not only present in humans, but also in arthropod and vertebrate animals. In any case, this integumentary system seeks to isolate the body from external agents that may be harmful.

For this reason, the integument or skin, as it is commonly called, acts as a limit for the body, which, hand in hand with the nails, the hair and even the hair, fulfills its activity as a protective bar. That said, it represents the largest organ in human beings , since a person can grow up to more than two meters in height.

Furthermore, there is no part of the body that has not been and is not perfectly covered by skin; which guarantees an indisputable capacity to protect the body , internal organs and the entire immune system that is generally compromised by bacteria, viruses and agents that threaten humans.

Parts of the integumentary system

The skin is mainly made up of the epidermis, the dermis, and an inner or subcutaneous layer called the hypodermis . Inside these layers, the creation of millions of cells is encouraged, which strengthen every corner with completely natural keratin.

And in case you did not know, every 3 weeks approximately, the first layer of the skin, which is the epidermis, proceeds to renew itself; For this reason, during the whole human life, about 22 kilograms of dead cells can be lost when the skin is changed.

Each of the 3 parts that make up the skin has a specific action and different activity, so we will clarify it below:


It is made up of epithelial cells, which ensure that the skin has the correct flexibility and resistance; understanding that it turns out to be the first layer that defends the body on the outside. This is undoubtedly the visible surface and to which we must give the greatest dedication, in terms of hygiene, cleaning and care.


Then follows the second layer that is the dermis, which is segregated into 2 more layers, such as the reticular and the papillary; both with the presence of elastic and collagen fibers. Already inside these layers, the nerve endings that are activated by touch are present , as well as the sweat glands, blood vessels and the sebaceous glands.

And in case you did not know, in the dermis vasoconstrictions and vasodilations are generated, which allows the correct blood flow in the skin. It is undoubtedly an essential layer in the process of releasing toxins, which greatly helps to dispose of what the body should not keep within itself.


Finally, there is the hypodermis, where fatty and adipose tissue is found as the main element, with the main objective of further distancing the human body from the outside; as well as to protect fat levels to protect areas from blows , as well as to save energy.

On the other hand, we must also highlight other components such as hair, since it occurs in most of the body, thus protecting every corner, including the head area . These hairs can vary according to the area of ​​the body, since in some parts they can be fine hairs, while others are thicker, as is the case of the intimate parts or armpits.

There are also the nails, which cover the tips of the fingers and toes, in both humans and animals. Each one of the nails is made up of a resistant protein called alphakeratin, an element that can also be found in the horns of some animals.

And to detail even more are the glands of the skin, which develop from the first layer of the skin, the epidermis. These glands can be sweat, mammary, and sebaceous . In the case of the former, it is where sweat is secreted, a liquid that contains toxins and substances that protect the body from bacteria and microbes.

Secondly, the sebaceous glands generate sebum in order to lubricate and waterproof the skin, as well as the hair; all with the purpose of preventing the access of microbes. Then there are the mammary glands, they are also a kind of sweat glands but where milk is secreted in the case of females that are of mammalian origin.

Characteristics of the integumentary system

One of the most outstanding differences of this system is that it is made up of elements that are not present inside the body, but quite the opposite; as are nails, hair and skin.

In addition, the integumentary system is positioned with the main motivation of being a protective agent against the system of layers that it has, where each internal organ can be protected, thus preventing severe damage, such as cuts.

For this reason, it is visibly noticeable that the good condition of the integumentary system is reflected by the hair, skin and nails ; the same happens when diseases occur where the symptoms are also visualized there. In this sense, it is important that we maintain the correct supervision of the color and resistance of the nails, for example, the strength or weakness of the hair, as well as the presence of hair in various areas of the body.

What is the function of the integumentary system?

This integumentary system bases its importance on achieving the perception of the sense of touch , since a large number of nerve endings are located in the skin. Of course, touch with the hands and even with the lips has always been associated, but the truth is that all the skin can perfectly feel any stimulus or touch, pressure, friction and temperatures.

On the other hand, the skin has the value of providing the correct hydration to the body through its pores, as well as regulating the water that enters from the outside. In addition, melanin, which is found within the skin, makes it possible to inhibit the effects of solar radiation, which notably affects the cells of the first layer of the skin, such as the epidermis.

And it does not end there, the integumentary system also ensures that the body temperature is maintained in the correct balance, which must be located close to 36 or 38 degrees, thus allowing the cells to function properly.

In the case of the sweat glands that are also part of this system, they seek to protect the body when it is subjected to high temperatures, while the sebaceous glands perform their protective work against bacteria that cause skin damage. In relation to them, they have been intelligently created to achieve a perfect balance in terms of temperatures and protection.

Diseases of the integumentary system


It is an autoimmune and chronic disease, which produces a high accumulation of cells on the skin , generating a kind of desquamation in the epidermis.

Atopic dermatitis

An inflammatory disease where there are areas with red bumps, in some cases with swelling and itching, as well as cracking of the skin.


This disease generates a chronic inflammatory situation, occurring mainly in areas of the face, especially in adulthood and the elderly.


It is one of the most common diseases that attack the skin, and although it usually appears in young people, acne is also generated in the elderly and children. Its origin is generated by the constant secretion of sebum through the hair follicles, causing pimples on the skin and face at various levels of affection.


A cancer-like disease, which develops in melanocytes, which are the hair pigments found in the skin.


It occurs when the autoimmune system fails completely and begins to damage the organs and tissues of the body.

How to take care of the integumentary system?

Do not forget that the integumentary system is a defense shield for the entire body , capable of warding off any bacteria that threaten the well-being of the skin and the body itself. For this reason, it is of great importance to maintain each skin area with the correct hygiene, cleanliness and care; as well as constant supervision by a specialist doctor so as not to lose sight of the details that are not accessible.

  • It is important to know in advance the type of skin that your body has, which can be dry, oily or semi-oily.
  • Keep the skin moisturized and hydrated with creams and plenty of water.
  • Strengthen the nails with specialized enamels for that purpose, which will also help strengthen the cuticle.
  • Keep hair hydrated with cream baths and rinses that prevent hair loss or weaken the strands.
  • Do not apply excess soap on the body so as not to eliminate the natural substances and toxins that the body produces through the sweat and sebaceous glands.
  • Avoiding smoking notably regenerates the quality of the skin, as well as its color and texture.
  • Make showers not so long and with water at room or warm temperature so as not to eliminate the natural oils that the skin generates, which are necessary for protection.
  • Carefully dry the skin after bathing or getting out of the water, rubbing is not recommended.
  • Avoid situations of stress as this affects the skin greatly.
  • Have a good diet, which is rich in vitamins and balanced, where the intake of fruits and vegetables is the main thing.
  • Consume vitamins, A to counteract sun damage to the skin, as well as cellulite , D to reduce and avoid spots, C to oxygenate the skin and protect from the sun and E acts against skin aging, as well as a natural antioxidant.
  • Exfoliate the face and body once a week to remove toxic substances that may accumulate on the skin , as well as to open pores and provide oxygenation.

Skin hygiene is very decisive and delicate in all processes, so it is important that you take into account the following recommendations so that you maintain correct hygiene . Take note below:

The skin should not only be cleaned during the bath with a moderate amount of soap, preferably with the same pH level so as not to cause irritability, but also with moisturizing creams and lotions. In addition, it is essential to apply sunscreen daily to protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun; and even more so when we expose ourselves to the sun directly on beaches or swimming pools.

In the case of nails, they must be taken care of in relation to the length, since this will avoid the accumulation of residues, dirt and bacteria on the fingers, as well as possible infections or ingrowth of the nails of the feet or hands. For this, it is important to wash your hands several times a day to keep them clean.

And in relation to the rest of the areas that are exposed to the accumulation of sweat , bacteria or bad odors, such as the armpits, private parts or the neck, they should be washed with plenty of water and a specialized soap with the same pH to take care of your body essence and do not eliminate natural toxins.

However, to have a more specialized guide or help in relation to the skin, either for hygiene or care for any disease that attacks it, it is advisable to visit a medical specialist , who in these cases would be a dermatologist, so that it can attend professionally the request that is needed.

In this sense, it is also advisable to consult any dermatological product that is going to be applied to the skin , since many of these have chemicals and strong substances that can generate side effects despite being manufactured for this purpose.

Curiosities of the integumentary system

  1. The thinnest skin is found on the eyelids of the eyes, while the thickest on the silver of the feet.
  2. Men and women have different skin types, since men have greater secretion in the sebaceous glands, which is why they generate more androgens; thus achieving a thicker skin.
  3. It has the incredible ability to rebuild itself when the skin has been injured, only that when the affected area is rebuilt, there is no hair growth or sweat glands.
  4. Sweating through the skin releases more than 11 liters of water in a single hot day.
  5. The skin is the largest and most extensive organ in the human body.
  6. Every minute a person can lose up to 30 thousand skin cells.
  7. The whole skin is covered with up to 1000 bacteria of various types, especially on the feet, where there are about 14 types of fungi.

And as if that were not enough, every 28 days the skin is renewed in a natural way , so it can be said that, every month human beings enjoy a totally different skin; and after 28 days they will have another. Undoubtedly, an outstanding aspect that the integumentary system leaves no room for errors before its perfect creation.

For all that we have analyzed in this interesting article, this system that has the skin as its main element, represents an important and indispensable structure for the proper development of human life ; Although its presence is often underestimated as a simple cloak, its work goes much further than hiding the internal organs.

So after reading all this information, do not hesitate to make the corresponding changes in your grooming and cleaning habits so that you can enjoy better skin, from its texture, appearance and quality . But not only that; also so that you protect even more the layers that daily keep you away from foreign and dangerous substances.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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