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How does my skin protect me?

Dr. Doris Day, MD
Dermatology
Your skin protects you from physical and chemical assaults from the outside world. Two of the skin’s layers, the hypodermis and the dermis, absorb shock and help you keep from getting too cold. Your skin also has blood vessels that help oxygen and nutrition reach the upper layers of the skin, nerve endings that provide sensation, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastic tissue called elastin that give your skin resilience. Another more superficial layer of your skin, the epidermis, makes a pigment called melanin that gives your skin its color and tries to limit the damaging effects of the sun’s ultra violet rays. Finally, your skin is a barrier with its own personal  first-line immune defense that is designed to ward off bacterial, viral, fungal, and other infections that are a threat to your skin and your overall heath.

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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.