So Much More Than a Pretty Face!

by Glen Depke

While we most likely recognize the skin by looking at the pretty face of ourselves or of others, your skin as an essential organ of your body and is so much more than just the pretty face. 

Your skin is the largest organ in the human body, and although not truly part of the Musculoskeletal System, has many structural and functional resemblances to Bones and Muscles and is composed of many of the same Connective Tissues that occur around Bones and Muscles. Most Skin growth occurs within the Stratum Germinativum (Basal Layer) of the Epidermis. Skin replaces itself almost every 27 days – it continually produces a horny protective covering of Proteins (via the process of Keratinization) and continually sheds its outermost layer of dead Cells (via the process of exfoliation).

Biological Function of the Skin

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Excretory System
 The Skin is responsible for the excretion of some wastes such as Sweat from the body.

Immune System
 The Skin is regarded as an “outposted” component of the Immune System:
  – The Skin helps to protect the body from invasion by Detrimental Microorganisms.
– Langerhans Cells in the Skin control the majority of the Skin’s Immune System functions.

Nervous System
 The Skin contains Receptors for the Senses of Touch, Pain and Temperature (thermoregulation, thermostatic function).

Water Balance
 The Skin helps to maintain the body’s Water Balance. It helps to prevent excessive loss of Water (Dehydration).

Chemical Composition of the Skin

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 Lipids comprise 2% of the Skin.
 Minerals comprise 0.5% of the Skin.
 Proteins comprise 25.5% of the Skin.
 Water comprises 70% of the Skin.
 Other substances comprise 2% of the Skin.

These Substances are Toxic to the Skin

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Alcohols
 Alcohol (ethanol) prematurely ages the Skin.

Carbohydrates
 Excessive consumption of Simple Sugars causes Cross-Linking (glycosylation) of the Collagen in Skin, resulting in Wrinkles.

Electromagnetic Radiation
 Excessive exposure to Sunlight accelerates the Aging Process in the Skin and causes Cross-Linking of the endogenous chemicals in the Skin (due to the UV-A form of Ultra-Violet Radiation)
  – Exposure of the Skin to Ultra-Violet Radiation severely depletes its Vitamin C content.
– Exposure of the Skin to Ultra-Violet Radiation stimulates the production of Superoxide Free Radicals.
– Exposure of the Skin to Ultra-Violet Radiation activates Nuclear Factor-Kappa B (NF-Kappa B) which degrades the Skin’s Collagen and Elastase content by “switching on” the genes that activate Collagenase and Elastase, enzymes that degrade the Skin’s Collagen and Elastin content).

Hormones
 Excessive Cortisol levels inhibit the regeneration and repair of the Skin.

Minerals
 Arsenic accumulates in the Skin.
 Excessive consumption of Chlorine is toxic to the Skin.

Pharmaceutical Drugs
 Doxorubicin can damage the Skin. 
 Mitomycin C can cause severe injury and ulceration of the Skin if it accidentally spills onto the Skin as it is being injected.

Pigments
 Lipofuscin is the chemical responsible for Age Spots (Liver Spots) on the Skin.

Proteins
 Nuclear Factor-Kappa B (NF-Kappa B) contributes to the Aging Process (including Wrinkles) of the Skin: 
  – NF-Kappa B initiates the degradation of the Collagen and Elastin content of the Skin that occurs during the progression of the Aging Process (it “switches on” the Genes for the Collagenase and Elastase enzymes that degrade Collagen and Elastin).

These Ailments are Toxic to the Skin

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Aging Process
 The Aging Process causes the Skin to become thinner and more transparent:
  – The progression of the Aging Process causes deterioration of the structural attachment between the Dermis and the Epidermis of the Skin.
– The Skin loses its elasticity in tandem with the progression of the Aging Process.
– The Skin’s Collagen content declines in tandem with the progression of the Aging Process.
– The Skin’s Immune function declines in tandem with the progression of the Aging Process (this results in a reduction in the Skin’s ability to counteract Antigens and a reduction in the Skin’s ability to mount inflammatory responses).
– Blood Circulation to the Skin declines in tandem with the progression of the Aging Process.
– The Skin’s ability to perceive Pain declines in tandem with the progression of the Aging Process.

Water Metabolism
 Skin has more Wrinkles and appears “rougher” when the body is affected by Dehydration. 

Myths Dispelled

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Phospholipids
 Many cosmetic companies make claims that their (topically applied) products that contain Liposomes can retard the Aging Process of the Skin and that they can reactivate Skin Cells. 

So truly recognize your skin as more than just a pretty face and find your health and wellness reach new levels.

If you have any questions in regard to this article, please leave a post below for us to address personally.

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