A P I Mod 1 Case 2015 Essay

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Module 1 Case Assignment
Anatomy and Physiology of the Skin
Anatomy and Physiology 250_I
Dr. Terry Else
Trident University International
January 20, 2015

Anatomy and Physiology of the Skin The terms anatomy and physiology refer to the structure and function of cells respectively. Whether you are looking at the human body, a plant, or a part of one of those organisms, how it is built is the anatomy and how it works is the physiology. The purpose of this essay is to analyze the normal anatomy and physiology of human skin then look at how the skin is altered in the disease state, Acne Vulgaris. We will explore the symptoms of, and treatment for, acne. Lastly, we will explore studies performed on nonwesternized societies and how these societies are affected (or not affected) by acne. To begin, let us look at the functions, layers, appendages and cells found in the skin. Love the skin you are in! Skin is our body’s number one defense against the elements; not only externally, but internally too. Known to the scientific world as the integumentary system, our skin’s main job is to provide a protective barrier between our body and the environment and between our internal organs (Bobick J., Balaban, N., 2008). Other important roles the skin plays is temperature regulation, sensory reception, and absorption (Brooks, 2007). Skin is a complex arrangement of millions of cells performing various jobs. In fact, one square inch of skin hold 20 feet of blood vessels and 77 feet of nerves (Bobick J., Balaban, N., 2008). Skin is made up of epithelial and connective tissues. The outer layer is called the epidermis and the inner layer is the dermis. There is a layer of connective tissue called the hypodermis that the epidermis and dermis rest upon. The hypodermis is important because it is what allows the skin to move while the fat cells within it cushion against injury and protect against heat loss. Within the layers of skin are appendages which are the blood vessels, nerves, sweat glands and hair follicles (Bobick J., Balaban, N., 2008). Moving on, we should look at some of the many different types of cells found in the integumentary system. The basic cell type is the keratinocyte which makes up about 95% of the epidermis. These cells play a role in the immune system helping guard against toxins in the environment from entering the organism (Eckert, R., Rorke, E., 1989). Melanocytes and basal cells are found on the inner layer of the epidermis and are responsible for the color pigment of our skin by producing melanin (Brooks, 2007). All of the components of the skin work in harmony to maintain optimal conditions in which our body thrives. However, as with just about all things in life, sometimes things go hay-wire and our integumentary system is in a less than optimal state which allows those environmental elements to wreak havoc on our skin. When the skin is affected by disease, the anatomy and physiology changes. Acne vulgaris, or just ‘acne’ as we know it, is a skin disease that effects on average 85% of adolescents in westernized societies (Cordain L, et al., 2002). When the sebaceous (oil) and sweat glands open on the surface of the skin and the pore becomes clogged with the oil that is secreted, the gland becomes infected resulting in pimples… better known as acne (Bobick J., Balaban, N., 2008). During puberty, especially in males, the secretions of the oil glands thicken and increase which further aggravates the skin causing more severe acne (Cordain L, et al., 2002). Acne is most common on the areas of skin with the densest population of oil glands; face, back, and chest. Some signs of acne are open or closed comedones (whiteheads or blackheads) and inflamed papules which is a small, raised pimple. Symptoms of acne vary with the degree of the disease. Acne vulgaris usually presents with localized pain and tenderness on the spot site. However, severe acne can present with fever and can…