Loving the skin you’re in means knowing how the body’s largest organ functions. Knowledge of how your skin functions gives you appreciation of how your skin takes care of you, so you can take care of it.
In this post, you will discover the 3 layers of the skin and their roles to keep you covered.
Epidermis- The Protector
Serving as your body’s first line of defense, the epidermis is a safeguard against harmful microorganisms and your environment. Keratin- makes up 95% of the protective layer- works to seal in moisture, to maintain your skin’s hydration. Melanin- which contributes to your skin tone- is produced to shield the skin against the sun’s harsh UV rays.
Foot fact:Constant rubbing and friction can contribute to excess keratin formation- better known to the world as corns and calluses- that affects the epidermis. Ill-fitting shoes , walking barefoot, and prolonged walking/running are the common causes.
Dermis- The Provider
Ever wondered where sweat comes from, or how is it that you are able to touch, and feel changes in temperature? Look no further than the dermis. This middle layer has sweat glands galore- to regulate body temperature- and loaded with nerve endings- to provide sensation. Collagen is a prime protein that maintains skin structure and strength, while blood vessels supply your skin with nutrients.
Foot fact:The dermis is the primary location for hair follicles. However parts of the body, such as the soles of the feet, lack these structures.
Hypodermis- The Foundation
What’s in a name? Well,…everything! Hypodermis literally means: below (hypo) skin (derm). As the deepest layer, the hypodermis fastens the skin to the underlying structures (bones, organs, muscles, etc.) in the body. It is primarily composed of fat- aka adipose tissue- that provides much needed insulation and a layer of shock absorption from impact. Who knew fat could be a good thing?!
Foot fact:Fat pads at the heels and balls of the feet serve as protective padding for internal structures when walking/running. Those fat pads can diminish- in a condition known as fat pad atrophy- that can result in painful steps when walking (esp. barefoot). To manage, wear soft, cushioned insoles. Athletes and the elderly are most at risk.
Putting your best FEET forward,
March 06, 2013
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