Functions of the Skin
The skin carries out the following main functions of the integumentary system.
- Thermoregulation: The thermoregulation of the skin is carried out with the help of evaporation of the sweat and regulation of the blood flow to the dermis.
- Sensations: The cutaneous sensations like touch, pressure, vibration, pain, cold, hot, etc, are felt by the skin.
- Protection: The protective barrier of the skin helps prevent diseases, infections, dehydration, etc.
- Production of Vitamin D: The precursor present in the skin and UV rays, helps in the production of vitamin D, an important nutrient of the body.
- Healing: When the epidermis breaks away due to a minor cut or burn, the cells on the lower layers of the skin migrate upwards as a sheet. When two ends of the sheet meet, the cells stop growing due to a process called 'contact inhibition'. Thus, the epidermis is sealed and the skin returns to normal.