By Ruth Hull

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Extra info for Anatomy & physiology for beauty and complementary therapies

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Communication – our skin communicates information about both our health and our emotions. Anatomy of the skin The skin is composed of two layers: the outer epidermis which is continuously being worn away and the dermis which contains the nerves, blood vessels, sweat glands and hair roots. 1 The skin Dermatology is the study of the skin, which is a cutaneous membrane made of two distinct layers: • the epidermis is a tough, waterproof outer layer that is continuously being worn away and • the dermis lies beneath it and has a thicker layer that contains nerves, blood vessels, sweat glands and hair roots.

They are dead). The cytoplasm of the cells has been replaced by the fibrous protein keratin. Cells are constantly shed through a process called desquamation. Cells are constantly replaced from beneath. Infobox How does the sun affect your skin? Ultraviolet (UV) light, emitted by the sun, is responsible for a great deal of damage to your skin. Excess exposure to it accelerates ageing of the skin, plays a significant role in the development of most types of skin cancer, suppresses the immune system and damages the retina of the eye.

Here is a clue – in an average adult it can weigh almost 5kg and cover an area about the size of a large dining room table. Although it is so large, it can be as thin as ½ mm and yet it is the only solid protection we have against the environment. In addition, it reflects the state of our health and emotions. i In this chapter you will discover the intricacies that make up the skin, hair and nails and you will see how they combine to form the integumentary system. Skin, hair and nails Skin, hair and nails Student objectives By the end of this chapter you will be able to: • • • • • • Explain the functions of the skin.

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