The skin is the organ of the body with the largest surface, made up of different components, including water, proteins, lipids, different minerals and chemicals. The average weight of the skin is about 6 kg. Its role is important, therefore it should be protected from infections and germs. Throughout life, the skin undergoes constant changes, both positive and negative. In fact, the skin regenerates approximately every 27 days. Proper skin care is essential to maintain the health and vitality of this protective organ.
Maintaining healthy skin
It is easy to forget to drink enough water or to cleanse the skin in the evening due to fatigue. But over time, these bad habits leave their mark on the skin.
Every day it is recommended to protect the skin by:
In the course of life, attention should be paid to all parts of the skin. Accustomed to this, you will notice any new changes, such as different tumors or moles that may indicate skin cancer. If you have concerns, consult a doctor.
Skin composition and role
Medical terms for different portions of the skin, are commonly used to sell skin care products and to promote different cosmetic procedures.
The epidermis: upper layer of skin
The epidermis is the thinnest layer of the skin; however, it is responsible for the protection against the insults produced by the environment. The epidermis in turn consists of 5 layers: the germinal layer, the thorny layer, the grainy layer, the glossy layer and the horny layer. The epidermis also hosts other cell types: keratinocytes, melanocytes and Langerhans cells. Keratinocytes secrete the protein known as keratin, the major component of the epidermis.
Melanocytes produce the skin pigment known as melanin.
Langerhans cells prevent the penetration of foreign substances into the skin.
dermis: the middle layer
This layer is responsible for the production of wrinkles. The dermis is a complex combination of blood vessels, hair follicles and sebaceous glands. At this level, collagen and elastin fibers meet, two proteins necessary to maintain skin health, as they provide support and elasticity. Fibroblasts are the cells found in this layer, which are responsible for collagen and elastin synthesis. This layer also contains tactile and proprioceptive (pain) receptors.
hypodermis: the fatty layer
Decreasing the amount of tissue in this layer, causes the appearance of skin (wrinkles) in the skin. This layer is also known as subcutaneous layer. It hosts sweat glands, fat cells and collagen fibers. The hypodermis is responsible for conserving body heat and protecting vital organs.
Collagen is the protein with the highest weight in the skin, accounting for 75% of the constituents of the skin. It is also the primary source of youth, responsible for the defense against wrinkles and fine lines. Over time, environmental and age factors diminish the body's ability to synthesize collagen.
Elastin gives the skin elasticity. This protein meets collagen at the level of the dermis and forms the structure of the skin and organs. Like collagen, elastin is affected by the passage of time and by different factors. Reducing the amount of this protein causes the skin to wrinkle and scratch.
Keratin is the most potent protein in the skin. It is also predominant in the constitution of hair and nails. Keratin is the constituent that gives skin rigidity.