25 Amazing Facts about Your Skin
Skin is the outer covering of our bodies that covers the delicate body tissues from the extreme effects of the environment. Despite the many shades that skins of people in different regions have, it primarily exists for the same purpose for everyone. This article focuses on the many amazing facts of this universal body covering organ as outlined below.
1. The skin is the largest organ in the body! In a normal average person,
the skin has a surface of about 20 - 22 square feet. All the parts in the body
are actually covered by the skin.
2. The skin of an average adult generally weighs about 9-10 pounds and comprises of more than 17 kilometers of network of blood vessels spanning the whole body.
3. During high-temperature conditions in the environment, the skin produces sweat to aid in cooling the body system. On a hot day, the skin releases up to three gallons of water. However, there are parts of the skin which do not produce sweat. These include the tip of the penis, the nails, the outer lining of the lips and eardrums.
4. There is another kind of sweat - a fat secretion. This is produced by the apocrine sweat glands that are located in the soft part of the body: the armpits, around the genitals, and the anus. These secretions are responsible for the body odor.
5. Bacteria lodging on the skin feeds on and digests the secreted fatty compounds causing a bad smell after some time. That is why people bathe and disinfect their skin.
6. The human skin sheds about 50 000 dead skin cells every 60 seconds. This is blown away by the wind and accounst for a big percentage of dust.
7. Skin is sensitive because it contains receptors. There are five different types of receptors just to sense pain and touch only.
8. The touch receptors in the skin called Meissner corpuscles respond to a pressure of only about 20mg! They are located in the clitoris, penis, palms, fingertips, lips and the tongue.
9. Blind people actually “see” through the skin. The visual cortex of their brains adapts to stimuli response received via hearing and touch.
10. Lack of melanin (skin color) is referred to as Albinism. In most cultures, the albinos are associated with mystical creatures and vampires. They are mostly betrayed as villains in movies as seen in The Matrix Reloaded, The Da Vinci Code among other films.
11. Currently. More than 3000 people have Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Chips implanted under the skin. These tags are mainly used for identification, contain medical information, and are used for security locks in doors, computers and safes.
12. There are books at Harvard Law School, Brown University and Cleveland Public Library that are covered with skin that was stripped from the poor people and criminals.
13. The fetuses start developing fingerprints three months after conception.
14. There are two genetic defects (Dermatopathia Pigmentosa Reticularis and Naegeli Syndrome) that may lead the carriers never to develop fingerprints at all!
15. Fingerprints are skin foldings that help in object grip. Humans and New world monkeys have similar fingerprints in the areas below the palms!
16. Breasts are a modification of the apocrine glands found beneath the skin.
17. The skin renews periodically every 28 days just like the lunar cycle.
18. The skin has three layers (the epidermis, dermis and the hypodermis). The thinnest layer of skin is found around the eyes especially in the eyelids. The thickest parts are on the soles of the feet.
19. There are about 600 sweat glands in every 5 square cm. of the skin.
20. At birth, the skin thickness is about 1 mm thick but grows to about 3 mm thick by adulthood.
21. The protein keratin found in nails and hair also forms part of the skin.
22. Changes in the skin can effectively monitor the overall health of the body. These include skin color changes, pimples, outgrowths, pigmentation and skin tone.
23. Goose pumps on the skin help in body insulation by keeping a layer of warm air over the skin. The hair on the skin also forms an integral part in heat regulation.
24. Humans mostly in Africa and areas located near the equator have dark skin. White skin is estimated to have appeared a few thousand years ago as dark-skinned humans began losing melanin.
25. Melanin (skin color) is created by special cells called melanocytes. Its density varies among humans with Albinos having the least melanin in their skin.
The human skin has a wide range of functions other than the normal obvious functions. It is indeed an integral part of the body system responsible for protection, sensory and keeping one comfortable. Although it can have various shades/colors, functionality remains pretty same in all humans. It is true that the skin is the largest part of the body and has the most amazing facts to know.
1. June 2015. (n.d.). Retrieved April 30, 2015, from http://discovermagazine.com/2007/feb/20-things-skin.
2. The Skin (Human Anatomy): Picture, Definition, Function, and Skin Conditions. (n.d.). Retrieved April 30, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/picture-of-the-skin.
3. Graphs, Infographics. (n.d.). Retrieved April 30, 2015, from http://graphs.net/50-amazing-facts-about-human-skin.html