The skin is the largest and one of the most important organs in the human body and is part of the integumentary system. It functions as protection to all of the underlying biological components of the body such as muscle, bone, ligaments, as well as other organs inside of the body. Most all of the skin on the human body is covered in hair follicles, minus the skin on the palms of the hands and feet, lips, and genitalia. This hairless skin is known as glabrous skin. Skin plays an important role in immune system function by protecting the body from excessive water loss as well as protection from various pathogens that can be dangerous to the internal tissues of the body. It also serves the functions of insulation, regulation of temperature, touch sensation, Vitamin D synthesis, and protection of Vitamin B folates. Skin that has suffered major damage has the ability to heal by forming scar tissue, which is often discolored and/or pigmented.
Human skin has three layers including the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. Damage to various layers will react and heal in different ways than in the other layers. Skin types can range in various individuals from various backgrounds in levels of moisture or dryness as well as pigmentation. There is an estimated one thousand different kinds of bacteria that are present in or on the human skin.
There is a plethora of various skin conditions that many people can encounter in a lifetime. Some are easily treatable in some individuals, while other conditions can be very difficult or impossible to treat with modern medicine and technology. A very basic skin condition is rash. This entails any change in the appearance of the skin. It can be caused by simple irritation or various other skin conditions. Simple inflammation of the skin is referred to as dermatitis. Eczema is an inflammation of the skin that causes a rash, as well, and is the result of an overactive immune system. Psoriasis is also related to the immune system but is due to an autoimmune condition. It can manifest as different kinds of rashes as well as silver, scaly plaques which is more common with psoriasis. Dandruff is dry and scaly skin on the scalp and can result from dehydrated skin, psoriasis, or eczema. Acne, the most common skin condition which affects 85% of the population at some point in their life, is inflammation of the hair follicles or pores in the skin. Cellulitis presents itself as a red and often painful rash and is due to dermis and other subcutaneous tissue inflammation. An abscess is a localized infection that manifests as a ball of pus under the skin. Rosacea is often mistaken as acne but is, in fact, a red rash that presents itself on the face of the affected individual. Warts are caused by an infection and cause the skin cells to grow excessively. Melanoma and basil cell carcinoma are both types of skin cancer, melanoma being the more dangerous of the two. Shingles is caused by the chicken pox virus and causes a red rash usually on one side of the body. Scabies is caused by tiny mites and creates a rash on various localized points on the body. Ringworm is a fungal skin infection caused by parasites. If you think you may be experiencing any of these common or less common skin conditions, you should consult with a physician to determine what if any treatment is suitable for you and the condition you are suffering with. Medical technology is expanding every day, and you may be able to be easily treated for one of these conditions. You should see a doctor immediately if you believe you may have carcinoma or melanoma, which can become very dangerous and deadly if not treated early and properly. Take care of your skin! It is the only skin you have and it is a very important organ that serves to protect the rest of our bodies.