25 Incredible Facts About Your Body’s Largest Organ: The Skin
Your skin is an incredibly complex and important part of your body that requires careful attention. To get an idea we put together this list of 25 facts!
We spend roughly 90 percent of our lives indoors. Whether that is at work, at home or at school, it is a profound amount of time to be exposed to common indoor air problems that can wreak havoc on your body and particularly on the skin. As the body’s largest organ, the skin is critical to our overall health and wellness and deserves careful attention. It is no wonder skincare is a billion dollar industry! It is also why Venta strives to create the best humidifier for dry skin.
In order to truly understand all of its complexities and how indoor air can greatly affect your skin’s health, we have put together a list of twenty-five facts about the skin to showcase how intricate this part of your body is.
Twenty-five Skin Facts
- The skin is the body’s largest organ, occupying more than 18 square feet, weighing about 8 pounds in the average adult.
- There are three layers to the skin:
- The epidermis is the outermost layer primarily responsible for acting as the body’s protective layer and first line of defense. It contains special cells which are part of the immune system. Melanin is produced in the epidermis, which gives the skin its color. New skin cells are made at the bottom of the epidermis and make their way to the top layer which then flake off.
- The second layer, the dermis, contains sweat glands, producing sweat to help keep you cool and get rid of anything your body does not need. Another type of gland in this layer produces oil which keeps your skin soft, smooth and waterproof. This part of the skin is also where nerve endings are located, which help you feel sensations by sending signals to the brain (if something is painful, too hot, etc.). Hair roots and blood vessels are also located in the dermis.
- The subcutaneous fat layer is critically important as it attaches the dermis to your muscles and bones. This also acts as transmitting center for the nerve cells and blood vessels located in the dermis to travel to the rest of the body. Fat is stored in this layer to act as padding for your muscles and bones, protecting it from bumps and falls.
- As mentioned, melanin is what gives human skin its different pigmentations. Special cells in the skin called melanocytes produce melanin. The more melanin is produced, the darker the skin color is. Melanin is produced as a way to protect the body from the sun’s harmful and potential cancer-causing UV rays. Fair skin is an adaptation of living in northern climates where solar rays are weaker.
- Albinism is a congenital disorder that leaves people with a complete lack of melanin pigment in their skin, hair and eyes. Roughly one in 17,000 Americans are albinos and are practically defenseless against the sun’s UV rays. Because they lack this protective part of their skin, they are more susceptible to sunburn and skin cancers.
- Scars leave their permanent mark in deeper tissues of the dermis layer. The scar collagen that is produced during the healing process is different than the rest of your skin’s collagen. Scar collagen does not die and get replaced like normal skin does, which gives it its permanency. The only time when scar tissue is not developed is in the fetal stage of life.
- Speaking of permanency, when you get a tattoo, you are technically damaging the skin. Ink is injected into the second layer of the skin, not the top layer. The reason the pigment remains visible is because the ink particles are too big to be absorbed by white blood cells, which get sent to the area to ward off foreign particles.
- Melanoma is a cancer that begins in the melanocyte cells. Ultraviolet rays from the sun or artificial sources like tanning beds are a major cause of melanoma. They cause damage to the DNA in these skin cells causing them to multiply and form malignant tumors. If caught early, most melanomas can be treated and cured. It is however, an extremely dangerous form of skin cancer because it can spread quickly to other parts of the body.
- Eczema is a skin condition that occurs most often in children causing the skin to flare up with red patches and feel itchy. It can be chronic and is often accompanied by asthma or a reaction to hay fever. Environmental allergens and dry air can irritate eczema, often worsening it, which is why parents choose the Venta Airwasher to help remedy the situation. The added moisture and reduction in airborne allergens helps reduce eczema symptoms and flare ups. Lead writer from the parenting blog, Dad and Buried observed the differences in his son after using the Airwasher:
“We’ve only had the thing for a few weeks, at the peak of pollen season, and while it’s probably a bit early to judge how well it’s helped his breathing, I can definitely say that his eczema has dwindled considerably.”
- One of the primary functions of the skin is to regulate the body’s temperature. Sweat glands located in the dermis activate when temperatures rise, releasing sweat to cool the body down. When temperatures are cold, blood vessels constrict limiting the amount of hot blood that can reach the skin, preventing heat loss.
- The surface of your skin can be called a microbiota, as there are millions of bacteria alive on the skin. These bacteria are harmless and actually help the immune system’s cells fight disease-causing microbes.
- The eyelids and areas surrounding your eyes feature the thinnest skin found on the body, while your feet have the thickest parts of skin.
- You skin sheds tens of thousands of cells every minute. In fact, roughly fifty perfect of house dust is made up of dead skin cells.
- Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. About 40-50 million Americans have acne at any one time. While this occurs mostly during adolescence, many adults still get acne. Acne happens when pores get clogged, which is often the result of an overproduction of oil and dead skin cells getting trapped in pores.
- For blind people, their brain’s visual cortex is rewired to respond to other stimuli like touch and hearing. In a way, blind people have more intense responses to touch and hearing. It is as if blind people “see” through touch and sound.
- According to Skin Cancer Foundation, about 90 percent of premature aging can be attributed to environmental damage including UV rays and toxic gases/emissions. Air pollution particles, or PM 2.5 particles (particulate matter), are too large to penetrate the skin, but other pollutants attached to these particles can. This includes chemicals attached to fuel, oil, diesel, dust and pesticides which create a reaction of free radical production and oxidative stress, causing aging to the skin. This is why skincare enthusiasts rely on Venta Airwashers to provide clean, healthy indoor air. This gives their skin a welcome respite from exposure to harsh outdoor airborne pollutants.
- Sleep is your skin’s most undervalued skincare secret. Sleep is the time when your skin repairs itself, producing an essential collagen that gives your skin its elasticity and strength. Without this regeneration period (lack of sleep), your skin instead produces cortisol which increases inflammation, giving the skin a puffy, pale and droopy appearance.
- Dry air has a tremendous effect on our skin. When humidity is low, moisture levels on the outer most layers of skin dry out resulting in roughness, flaking and even cracking. Irritated dry skin is often itchy and uncomfortable. When this protective layer cracks and becomes damaged, it leaves the rest of your body susceptible to infection and illness. This is why it is critical to keep your indoor air properly humidified throughout the winter months when winter air and heating systems dry out indoor air. It is important to know that not all humidifiers are good options however. Some can produce too much moisture, causing more harm than good. Venta Airwashers never over-humidify, offering the perfect, optimal amount of moisture without a swampy feeling. This is why they are considered the best humidifier for dry skin.
- Smokers notice their skin looks prematurely aged because smoking decreases the blood supply that keeps skin looking healthy and supple. This accelerates the aging process and results in wrinkles. Smoking also deprives your skin of necessary nutrients it needs to be strong and elastic. This results in a droopy appearance and an uneven skin tone.
- Those with an oily skin complexion may notice fewer signs of aging. Dermatologist Jeannette Graf, M.D. says the skin’s natural oils contain more vitamin E which is a great defense mechanisms against environmental stress and free radicals. Vitamin E has an anti-inflammatory effect, slowing the signs of aging.
- Another common skin condition that impacts millions of people is rosacea. Rosacea causes flare ups on the skin, most notably on the face, that are red in color due to visible blood vessels. While rosacea can be found in anyone, middle-aged women with fair skin most commonly suffer from this condition.
- Skin tags are a type of skin growth that are benign (harmless) and cause no symptoms. They are more of a nuisance than a serious skin condition. People who have diabetes or who are overweight are more common to have skin tags. The friction of skin rubbing against skin causes these growths to form. Ultra-tight clothing should be avoided as the repetitive friction can contribute to development of skin tags.
- A callus forms when an area of skin is repeatedly exposed to intense friction or pressure. Calluses are thicker and tougher parts of the skin, often found on the bottoms of your feet or on your hands. Those who use their hands in hard, physical labor or frequently lift weights often have callused hands.
- Regular physical activity is a well-known health benefit, but can actually directly affect your skin’s health too. Exercise helps increase toxin removal in your skin, boosts collagen production and decreases wrinkles.
- Sunscreen should not be reserved solely for beach days. Skincare experts encourage sunscreen to be part of your everyday routine. Protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays is paramount on sunny days, but it is just as important on overcast days. UV rays have to fight harder to break through cloud cover, making them stronger and harsher once they reach you. Luckily, most daily moisturizers contain some amounts of sunscreen.
- Exfoliation is essential to your skincare routine. As mentioned, tens of thousands of dead skin cells are shed every minute. For the remaining skin cells that have not completely left your body, exfoliation comes into play. Exfoliation in the form of scrubs, pumice stones or coarse loofahs help to whisk away these dead skin cells and polish the remaining skin to be shiny and healthy.
Here at Venta, we care about the skin. As your body’s natural protective barrier, it is important for us to protect the skin at all costs from harmful airborne pollution and the irritating consequences of dry air.
We do this with our revolutionary air quality machines, the filter-free Airwashers. It is our mission to make the air our Venta Community breathes as healthy as possible. By trapping indoor air pollutants down to an incredibly small size of 0.3 microns, we rid indoor spaces of harmful airborne pollutants that can cause skin rashes and irritations like allergens and dust. While simultaneously purifying the air, our Venta units release only pure, moisturized air into your environment. This is done through a process called Cold Evaporation which ensures our units never over-humidify, giving you an even, comfortable humidification. All of these factors are what make the Airwasher the best humidifier for dry skin.