The skin not only gives us our appearance and shape, it also serves other important functions:
- mechanical impact (i.e. pressure, stroke)
- thermic impact (i.e. heat, cold)
- chemical impact (i.e. acids)
- microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi)
- water loss
Besides providing a biological barrier against microorganisms through its acidic pH-value, the skin is immunologically active through defense mechanisms in epidermis and dermis.
Through sweat-producing glands and the evaporation of sweat and water, the body temperature is controlled. Another mechanism for rapid cooling is vasodilation (widening of blood vessels). Through vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels), heat loss is prevented.
Through nerve endings and receptors in the skin, sensations such as touch, pain, heat or cold are processed.
The skin produces Vitamin D through exposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight.
Through paling, blushing and other expressions regulated by the autonomic nervous system, the skin serves as a communication system.