Topic Progress:


  • Skin, along with its derivatives, for example hair, nails, glands and nerve endings, forms the integumentary system.
  • Skin is a physical barrier that protects underlying tissues from minor mechanical blows, bacterial and viral invasion, dehydration and ultraviolet radiation.
  • Protection from mechanical assaults, e.g. pressure and friction, is mainly provided by the tough fibroelastic tissue of the dermis, collagen and elastin.
  • Bacterial and viral invasion: when intact skin is virtually impermeable to microorganisms.
  • The pH of skin is maintained at 5.5 by sweat, sebaceous and horny cells, and is known as the acid protection layer (Benbow, 2010).
  • Skin prevents excessive fluid and electrolyte loss to maintain homeostasis. This ability to prevent fluid loss is destroyed in burns patients, who lose excessive amounts of fluid through their skin. This process is also interfered within patients with leg ulcers and other extensive wounds (Tortora & Derrickson, 2013).
  • Protection from UV radiation - this is provided by melanin, which is produced by melanocytes.