You see your skin every day. You care for your skin every day. Your skin is amazing. It heals itself. And can change color in the sun. Okay, that might be a stretch. But how much do you truly know about your skin? Do you know that it is your body’s largest organ?
Understanding your skin is important to being able to take care of it. And since everyone’s skin is different, it is even more difficult to know what is best for your skin and how to best care for it. There are many different things you may not know but should know about your skin.
At Azeal Dermatology Institute, we know more about skin than most people ever want to. Our Boulder skin experts can help you understand your skin type and how to best take care of it. While everyone’s skin is different, everyone has skin. So, let’s take a closer look at skin in general. In this blog, we are going to give your some facts about skin that you may not have known. While not all of these facts will help you care for your skin, they may help you win trivia someday! Read on to learn more about the body’s largest organ.
You Have a Lot of Skin
This may seem obvious since it is the body’s largest organ, but do you know just how much skin you actually have? In a Naturalon article, they state that your skin covers about 22 square feet, depending on your height. That is a lot of skin. But it also weighs a lot. Approximately 16 percent of your total body weight is from your skin alone, which is probably more than you thought.
The Layers of Your Skin
It might be known that you have different layers of skin, but do you know what each layer can do or what each layer is? The layers include the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis (subcutaneous tissue). Let’s take a look at what each of these layers does:
- Epidermis: the epidermis is the outermost layer and acts as a protective barrier between the body and the outside world. A Health article also mentions that it is the layer of skin that is responsible for creating new skin and making pigment melanin. The epidermis contain Langerhans cells, which help to regulate the immune system.
- Dermis: this is the middle layer of skin and gives the skin 90 percent of its thickness. The dermis also holds the subepidermal structures of the skin in place.
- Hypodermis: this is the innermost layer of skin and according to Huffington Post, is made up of fat and collagen cells.
Within your skin, you also have subcutaneous fat, sebaceous glands, blood vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, and nerves. Did you know there way so much going on in your skin? And believe it or not your skin in not that thick. The Huffington Post article mentions the skins thickness, noting that it is not the same thickness throughout the entire body. The eyelids have the thinnest skin, which is 0.05 millimeters. And the thickest skin is in the palms and soles of the feet, at about 1.5 millimeters.
It Can Get Damaged By Over-Washing
According to Lionesse, over-washing can do more harm than good to your skin. Washing your face is good to do daily, but washing it more than twice can strip it of its natural oils. Even if you have oily skin, stripping your skin of this natural oil can make your oil glands overproduce more oil, making it worse.
It Is Affected by What You Eat
This may seem obvious, but your skin needs the proper nutrients to thrive. A bad diet can cause your complexion to worsen. There are easy ways to improve your diet that can also help your skin. The Health article mentions some changes to make in your diet that can help your skin, these include:
- Plain iced coffee instead of blended coffee drinks: blended coffee drinks contain dairy and sugar, which can worsen acne and break down collagen. But, according to a study, having four or more cups of coffee a day may help to reduce the risk of melanoma by 20 percent. So, stick with the plain coffee and avoid the super sugary drinks.
- Salmon instead of grilled steak: the article mentions that red meat cooked at a high temperature, is more likely to form advanced glycation end products, which play a role in aging. A study suggests that oily fish, like salmon, eaten about once a week might help protect against pre-cancerous changes.
- Watermelon instead of citrus fruits: citrus contains psoralens, a substance which can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays and may increase your risk or melanoma. Watermelon contains a ton of vitamin C, like other citrus fruits, but without the psoralens. Vitamin C can help to rejuvenate the skin.
Making these changes in your diet can help keep your skin healthier for longer, keeping it looking young and gorgeous.
Skin Help Regulate Temperature
As if your skin already didn’t do enough, it can also help to regulate your body temperature. The Huffington Post article describes how this works. If your body is overheated, the blood vessels (located in your skin) will widen, letting the heat be released through your skin. If your body is cold, the blood vessels will constrict, keeping more heat in. Sweating is part of this regulation of temperature, which you may have heard before. Our sweat is our bodies way of trying to cool off.
Speaking of sweat, there are two kinds of sweat glands — eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine sweat glands are found all over your body and produce odorless sweat, mostly water and salt. Apocrine are sweat glands that are found in areas with a lot of hair follicles, like the armpits. These sweat glands are the ones that produce the smelly BO kind of sweat. They produce a milky fluid that mixes with bacteria to create the stinky sweat.
A Bit About Acne
Acne is a common skin condition. In fact, it is the most common skin condition in the U.S. It affects 40 to 50 million Americans and about 85 percent of people will experience it acne at least once in their lives. Even babies can be affected by acne. This acne is caused by the mother’s hormones that is still found in a baby’s blood after they are born. But acne can also worsen with age. While you may think that you have already faced your worst cases of acne during puberty, it can actually get worse (for women) during perimenopause. When a woman hits 30, their estrogen levels will drop but testosterone will stay the same. This imbalance, according to the Health article, will put oil glands into overdrive, causing acne breakouts. Acne, on top of aging skin, is never fun, but there are ways to take care of these problems. You can learn more about how a woman’s skin changes overtime in our previous blog.
You Shed More Than Hair
You may know that your old skin cells will shed throughout the day. But what about by the minute? According to the Naturalon and Huffington Post articles, you shed 30 to 40 thousand skin cells every minute! Yes, you read that right. While that may be disgusting and give your a different perspective on dust, this is also the reason why your skin doesn’t look like a scaly lizard. So, just forget about this fact and let it happen, and maybe start exfoliating more.
A Little About Scars
When you get a scar, it is because there was damage to the second layer of the skin. Scars have different collagen than normal skin, they do not disappear from your skin because scar collagen is not shed. Your skin will shed dead skin cells, as you read above, leaving a newer layer of skin. But the scarred skin is not shed.
There is a lot to know about skin, but as we already mentioned, everyone’s skin is different, which makes it even more difficult to know exactly how to best care for your skin. Learning your skin type, about your skin, and how to care for it can help to keep it looking healthy and youthful. While these skin facts are interesting, they give you no more insight into how to properly care for your skin. But we can.
Schedule an appointment at Azeal Dermatology Institute to learn more about your skin and how to care for it. We can help you with any skin concerns you may have and diagnose any other problems. Knowing and understanding your skin type can help you to better care for it, choose the right products, and help it look younger for longer. Contact our Boulder dermatology office today to learn more.