Why do we have skin?

Skin is a dynamic, protective organ that grows, stretches, shrinks, creases, and wrinkles in response to a person's age, habits, weight fluctuations, and the environment. Skin serves many important functions including:
  • protecting the body from environmental factors such as bacteria, fungus, viruses, allergens, water, and chemicals
  • regulating body temperature by sweating and adjusting blood flow to the skin
  • synthesizing vitamin D
  • helping the body sense touch, pain, temperature, pressure, and position
  • providing some protection against the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays via the skin protein melanin

Continue Learning about Functions of Skin

How does sweating benefit my skin?
Dr. Doris Day, MDDr. Doris Day, MD
If you exercise enough to break a sweat, you are doing your skin – and for that matter, your whole b...
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What do sebaceous glands do?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Sebaceous glands produce an oil called sebum, which is thought to play a role in keeping your sk...
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What is the epidermis?
Arthur W. Perry, MDArthur W. Perry, MD
The top layer of the skin, the epidermis, is the waterproofing layer. It keeps everything on the...
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What are eccrine sweat glands?
Susan EvansSusan Evans
Our eccrine glands are considered to be our major sweat glands. When we sweat, we produce mostly wat...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.