Did you know your skin weighs twice as much as your brain? That its even heavier than your intestines? Many of us take our skin for granted, but we really should take better care of it. Here are some fun facts about skin.
1. The Skin Is The Largest Organ
Skin covers all body surfaces. The skin of an average adult weighs 8-10 pounds and has an average area of about 22 square feet. The purpose is to protect the body from injury, infection, heat, cold, and store water, fat and vitamins. The human skin is rejuvenated about once every four weeks.
Thinking of your skin as an organ, rather than something that we can use and abuse, puts things in proper perspective. Your skin is a wonderfully resilient organ and for the most part, can survive virtually any form of punishment. The skin is the body’s boundary: tough enough to resist all sorts of environmental assaults, yet sensitive enough to feel a breeze.
2. Your Skin Is Made Up Of 3 Layers
Your skin has three major layers – epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.
The epidermis is waterproof, preventing unnecessary loss of water across the body surface. The skin’s rich abundance of blood flow and sweat glands regulate the loss of heat from the body, helping to control body temperature.
The dermis is the second major layer of the skin. It is a strong, flexible connective tissue. The dermis is richly supplied with nerve fibres and blood vessels. The blood vessels of the dermis are so extensive that it can hold 5% of all blood in the body. When organs need more blood, e.g. exercising muscles, the nervous system constricts the blood vessel located in the dermis. This shunts more blood into the general circulation, making it available to the muscles and other organs.
The hypodermis is also called the subcutaneous layer. It consists of both areolar and adipose connective tissue, although the adipose tissue normally dominates. Besides storing fat, the hypodermis anchors the skin to the underlying structures (mostly to muscles) and allows the skin to slide relatively freely over those structures. Sliding skin protects us by ensuring most blows just glance off our bodies.
3. Dusty House? That’s Your Dead Skin
A large amount of the dust in your home is actually dead skin. Your skin loses about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells from the surface almost every minute, even though you do not see it happening. This is why exfoliating is so important to keep that healthy glow! It sheds a layer of these dead cells every 24 hours and renews itself about every 28 days. Unfortunately, this process slows as you age.
4. Your Brother Isn’t Heavy, But Your Skin Is
The average person’s skin weighs twice as much as their brain. After the skin, here are the five heaviest organs in the body:
- Intestines – 7.5 pounds (4 pounds for the large intestine, 3.5 pounds for the small)
- Lungs – 5 pounds (2.5 pounds each)
- Liver – 3.2 pounds
- Brain – 3 pounds
- Heart – 0.6 pounds
5. The Skin On Your Lips Is Very Sensitive
The skin on your lips is 200 times more sensitive than that on your fingertips. Receptor cells in your body give your brain information — about the world around you and about what’s going on inside of you. Each type of receptor cell is able to give you a different type of information.
So, the greater the number of receptors a body part has, the more sensitive it will be. It is also true that the lips do have many of these touch receptors. When scientists list the top areas of the body in terms of sensitivity, the lips and fingertips are often ranked as the areas with the highest concentrations of receptor cells.