Integumentary Essay

Submitted By s1elise
Words: 901
Pages: 4

The integumentary system is a very vital piece of an intricate puzzle commonly known as the human body. It may seem like a very small piece, but it does so much. It helps protect tissues and organs, regulate body temperature, synthesize and store energy, detect certain senses, and excrete wastes. Within itself, this system has a multitude of components including multiple layers of skin, hair follicles, nails, and various glands. Individually, and as a whole unit, these components serve a highly important purpose. One crucial function of the integumentary system is protection. It is made up of multiple layers of skin, including the epidermis and dermis, which cover the entire body. This helps to shield the underlying tissues and organs. It protects these precious parts from chemicals, infections, impact damage, and sun exposure. Along with this protection, it helps to prevent major loss of important internal bodily fluids. Temperature maintenance is another function provided by the integumentary system. It helps the body maintain homeostasis by adjusting accordingly to keep it at a steady, normal body temperature. The environment is the biggest enemy when it comes to body temperature regulation. When it is cold outside our body has to try to adjust by heating up, we usually aid this process by putting on multiple layers of clothing so heat can be entrapped and absorbed by the skin. When it is hot outside our body temperature rises, causing it to produce sweat. This sweat moves from the sweat gland duct in the dermis up to the epidermis, in hopes to help lower internal temperatures. In addition, the integumentary system also helps synthesize and store nutrients/energy/food. When exposed to sunlight, or artificial sunlight, the epidermis is triggered to synthesize vitamin D. This is crucial because it in turn helps a hormone which results in calcium buildup within the body. Also, the dermis helps hold in vast amounts of lipids, which includes various fats, oils, and waxes. Sensory reception is also provided by the integumentary system and is a very essential part of our everyday lives. It helps us detect pressure, pain, temperature, and foreign stimuli. All of these things are then passed along to the nervous system. Touch and pressure receptors are located in the dermis and hypodermis. The hair shafts and follicles are a main part of this reception process. They help by detecting and warning us of foreign objects coming in contact with the body. They also become stiff and stand up straight when we are exposed to cold temperatures triggering temperature maintenance. They even keep certain foreign particles from entering our bodies via eyes and nostrils. The final function of the integumentary system is that of excretion and secretion. Various glands throughout the dermis and epidermis help release liquids such as sweat and water, salts, and organic wastes. Sweat must be released to maintain proper body temperature and also helps dilute chemicals that could be harmful when in contact with the skin. This function also aids in the secretion of breast milk, as the mammary glands are similar to those of apocrine sweat glands. The layers of skin in the integumentary system also help to quickly respond to injuries and attempt to ensure they do not become serious injuries. For example, calluses form on hands and feet when more external pressure is placed on them in attempt to protect the underlying tissues with this thicker layer of skin. But when a more serious injury occurs such as a scrape, cut, or incision occurs, the skin