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Function

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

The skin has multifarious functions:

  • homeostasis of body fluids: keratinized epidermis prevents loss of water, macromolecules and electrolytes
  • temperature homeostasis: vasodilatation of blood vessels and sweating from eccrine glands involved in heat loss; hypodermal fat acts as insulating layer
  • sensation: temperature, pain, touch, proprioception, vibration are all indicated by cutaneous receptors
  • lubrication: sebaceous glands
  • waterproofing: sebaceous glands, layers of keratinocytes
  • manipulation and improved sensation of objects: nails
  • protection: from chemicals, particles, radiation, microbes, antigens via horny layer, melanocytes and antigen-presenting Langerhans cells
  • ultraviolet radiation shielding: melanocytes
  • shock absorption: dermis and hypodermis
  • vitamin D synthesis: keratinocytes
  • body odour: apocrine sweat glands
  • psychosocial: apocrine sweat glands, lips, hair, nails, melanocytes and tanning

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