Skin

Skin is the soft outer covering of vertebrates. Other animal coverings such as the arthropod exoskeleton have different developmental origin, structure and chemical composition. The adjective cutaneous means "of the skin" (from Latin cutis, skin). In mammals, the skin is the largest organ of the integumentary system made up of multiple layers of ectodermal tissue, and guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. Skin of a different nature exists in amphibians, reptiles, and birds. All mammals have some hair on their skin, even marine mammals which appear to be hairless. The skin is one of the most important parts of the body because it interfaces with the environment and is the first line of defense from external factors. For example, the skin plays a key role in protecting the body against pathogens and excessive water loss. Its other functions are insulation, temperature regulation, sensation, and the production of vitamin D folates. Severely damaged skin may heal by forming scar tissue. This is sometimes discoloured and depigmented. The thickness of skin also varies from location to location on an organism. In humans for example, the skin located under the eyes and around the eyelids is the thinnest skin in the body at 0.5 mm thick, and is one of the first areas to show signs of aging such as "crows feet" and wrinkles. The skin on the palms and the soles of the feet is 4 mm thick and the thickest skin in the body.

Fur is dense hair. Primarily, fur augments the insulation the skin provides but can also serve as a secondary sexual characteristic or as camouflage. On some animals, the skin is very hard and thick, and can be processed to create leather. Reptiles and fish have hard protective scales on their skin for protection, and birds have hard feathers, all made of tough β-keratins. Amphibian skin is not a strong barrier to passage of chemicals and is often subject to osmosis. For example, a frog sitting in an anesthetic solution could quickly go to sleep.

Read more about Skin:  Functions, Mammalian Skin Layers, In Fish and Amphibians, In Birds and Reptiles, Mechanics, Human Uses and Culture, Detailed Cross Section

Other articles related to "skin":

Urushiol-induced Contact Dermatitis - Rash
... Since the skin reaction is an allergic one, people may develop progressively stronger reactions after repeated exposures, or show no immune response on their first exposure, but show sensitivity ... (two micrograms or less than one ten-millionth of an ounce) on the skin to initiate an allergic reaction (Epstein et al ... Severe cases will have small (1–2 mm) clear fluid-filled blisters on the skin ...
Goose Bumps - Cause - Extreme Temperatures
... end." At the same time, the tiny muscles that are contracting are causing a "bunching" of the skin surrounding the hairs, which results in the "bumps" in goosebumps ... This is the body's way of preserving its own heat by causing the hairs on the skin to stand up, thus reducing heat loss ... As the perspiration accumulates on the skin, it naturally evaporates ...
Skin (computing)
... In computing, a skin is a custom graphical appearance achieved by the use of a graphical user interface (GUI) that can be applied to specific software and websites to suit ... A skin may be associated with themes ... Software that is capable of having a skin applied is referred to as being skinnable, and the process of writing or applying such a skin is known as skinning ...
Skin - Detailed Cross Section
... Look up skin in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...
Eschar
... tissue that is cast off from the surface of the skin, particularly after a burn injury, but also seen in gangrene, ulcer, fungal infections, necrotizing spider ... if a skin graft is to be conducted) ... traditionally used in herbal medicine as topical treatments for localised skin cancers and can be effective in some cases, but often cause scarring and can potentially cause ...

Famous quotes containing the word skin:

    What, is the jay more precious than the lark
    Because his feathers are more beautiful?
    Or is the adder better than the eel
    Because his painted skin contents the eye?
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    Nor skin nor hide nor fleece
    shall cover you,
    nor curtain of crimson nor fine
    shelter of cedar-wood be over you,
    nor the fir-tree
    nor the pine.
    Hilda Doolittle (1886–1961)

    Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one’s soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free, when understanding breeds love and brotherhood.
    Josephine Baker (1906–1975)