The skin is the largest organ in the body and the first that you see. It usually refers to the outer layer of the body that covers the entire body surface. It serves as a shield, protecting the inner part of the body from direct contact with external objects and factors. It has millions of pores (openings) through which waste products, which if left within could be poisonous to the body, are eliminated constantly.

Functions of the Skin: The skin serves several functions in the body. Excretion It performs several important duties which include excretion where little sweat glands, millions of them, located just beneath the surface of the skin work constantly, separating impurities from the blood. Some of the substances excreted include urea, salt ,lactic acid etc.

Respiration: The lungs are the major organs of respiration, but the skin also plays a role in this process can be observed in the case of one who consumed garlic, tobacco etc. In fact, it is the sole organ responsible for respiration in some lower animals. The skin obeys the principle of osmosis. It absorbs liquids largely. Absorption by the body through the skin increases when the body is warm and moist. It also absorbs oxygen and eliminates poisonous gases.

Regulation of Body Temperature: The skin regulates body temperature when the case is at either extreme. When the temperature in the atmosphere is cooler than normal, the skin, being non-conducting and dense, with the aid of the hairs on its surface, reduces escape of essential body heat as the hairs stand to block the openings of the sweat glands.

On the other hand, when body temperature increases because of strenuous activities, fever or external heat, the skin allows the release of heat, through the sweat glands, into the atmosphere, thereby producing a cooling effect.

Touch: The skins extensive network of nerves connects with all the great nerve centers in the body; by virtue of that the skin serves also as an organ of touch. This is demonstrated when an ice bag is placed over the right lower abdomen in a patient with acute appendicitis where it relieves the congestion and inflammation by constricting the blood vessels 

Unhealthy skin Indication: Usually, unhealthy skin is Characterized by:  Wrinkles and lines as observed with the crows feet found at corners of eyes and mouth Acne, pimples, spots, blackheads etc Dull flaky skin, Water retention (oedema).

Causes: Some of the causes of the above indications are:  Naturally, every movement we make destroys a tiny portion of the living tissues, Irregular and, or prolonged periods without bathing,  Excessive exposure to sunlight, salts and other such dehydrating agents, Regular exposure to high temperature including hot baths,  Application of harsh soaps, creams and other chemical substances including fluorides found in toothpastes, Prolonged application of chemical substances.

Maintenance & Treatment of the Skin: To keep the skin clear, well-toned, healthy and blemish-free, ensure: Proper and daily bath especially during hot weather, Regular exercise in fresh air, Taking at least one teaspoonful of pure honey daily, Proper moisturisation of skin particularly before exposure to damaging chemicals and after baths, Drinking at least 8 glasses of fresh clean water daily, Regular exposure of skin to fresh air, without any cream to allow for breathing, especially at bedtime, Adequate rest,  Reduction in intake of cane sugar, meat, white Hour products, Exfoliation (using a cold towel to vigorously rub the body working from the toes to the heart and then from the head to the heart) to increase circulation, Maintaining a diet with fruits and vegetables (particularly citrus and green leafy vegetables) like oranges, limes, lemons, grapes, carrots, apples, bananas, guavas, mangos and vegetables like lettuce, spinach, cabbage (white), celery, tomatoes, red pepper, garlic etc most of which can be found in our Daily African diets.

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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