What role does skin play in the immune system?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Skin, the largest organ of the body, is a formidable barrier to infection. Not only does the skin function as an impressive physical obstacle, but like the walls of a castle, it's also an unfriendly environment for many microbes. The skin's surface is slightly acidic and some areas are quite dry; neither condition suits many microbes, which like moisture and a less acidic environment. In addition, the skin's already populated by good soldiers: bacteria that call skin "home," effectively hanging out a "No Trespassing" sign for others.

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