Importance of Skin

Skin is an important part of our integumentary system that includes nails, hair and glands.  Comprised of 3 layers, epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous, each layer is responsible for different vital and necessary functions. The dermis provides strength to skin by producing collagen or connective tissue as well as a flexible reticular layer allowing for elasticity.  The subcutaneous layer provides a layer of fat responsible for insulation, shape and cushioning.  The normal process of aging causes the following:  Decreased water content, reduction in tissue strength, compromised integrity between the skin layers, atrophy of apocrine and sebaceous glands, increased drying of the skin, diminished subcutaneous tissue, poor peripheral vasculature and fragile small vessels  in extremities. It is important to protect skin integrity for many reasons:  Skin manufactures Vitamin D, delivers medications, provides perspiration for temperature regulation, protects against bacterial infection and keeps internal organs together and provides sensory stimulation.