What are the functions of skin

By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
What are the functions of skin

Skin is the largest and heaviest organ in the human body. It can also reveal diseases or dysfunctions of other organs. This means it can be the warning sign of some diseases or dysfunctions. Not all body skin has the same thickness. For example, in the palms of the hands and feet it is thicker than in other parts of the human body. Its main function, among others, is protection. Next, in OneHowTo we present what the functions of skin are.

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Steps to follow:

The first thing you need to know is that the skin has three separate layers that have different functions of their own:

  • Epidermis: The first layer of the skin is the one in charge of protecting the rest of layers from water and is also the one that determines the color of our skin.
  • Dermis: This next layer is the one that stores sweat glands and hair follicles. It is formed by thick connective tissue.
  • Hypodermis: This is the deepest layer of the skin and also stores connective tissue and is where fat is stored.

Protection: The skin protects the body from any type of external attack. This can include bumps, burns, pressure, heat and water loss, actions by chemical agents, penetration of germs. It selects what is harmful to the body and what is beneficial.


Maintaining moisture: The skin is 70% water and that is what gives it its vitality. Therefore, when the amount of water decreases the corneal layer can lose elasticity and that is when we say that we have dry skin. When the skin is well moisturised, skin cells regenerate and renew the skin which in turn has greater flexibility and facilitates better healing and the prevention of the appearance of wrinkles.


Nutrition: When there is a need for nutrition it means there is a lack of lipids. Lipids help restore the barrier function of the skin and restore cell membranes. Therefore, when lipids are missing the barrier function is weakened and there is increased dehydration, elasticity is lost and the skin becomes vulnerable, even wrinkles may appear.


Reproduction: Living cells reproduce by mitosis eliminating old cells and replacing them with new cells. The skin cells found in the epidermis (upper skin layer) reproduce every 28 days. Thanks to this cell replacement, any type of cuts or injury can heal quickly.


Secretion: Gland secretion may be eccrine, which secrete fluid and sweat, or apocrine and holocrine or sebaceous. Its origin is due to the complete cell disintegration and differentiation. Throughout life this is altered but its high point is puberty.


Elimination: Skin regulates body temperature by letting off heat through the evaporation of secreted sweat which also eliminates any substances that are harmful.

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What are the functions of skin
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