Ever Wondered Why The Skin Does The Weird Stuff It Does?

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             The skin undertakes a lot more than we think it does. We overlook this organ as not being so important, though it plays a vital role in everyday life.

 "The average human body is covered by about twenty square feet of skin that weighs around eight pounds we carry everyday. It's made up of three layers" ("When","How"). "The layer on the outside is called Epidermis that creates proteins and vitamins. The second layer called Dermis, contains our nerves/blood vessels and the deepest layer holds the fat and collagen cells that help hold in our body heat and protect our organs" ("How").


So what exactly does the skin do when we have goosebumps? "The bumps of skin act to bristle the hairs "("What"). "Goosebumps are a contraction of miniature muscles that are attached to each hair. This contraction also causes the hair to stand up whenever the body feels cold"("Why"). Aside from being cold we also receive goosebumps during powerful feelings. For instance, I get them when I'm listening to a heart-felt song or an experience that I am overwhelmed with joy. This is due to adrenaline. "Adrenaline is caused by two small bean-like glands that are on the top of the kidneys, which cause the contraction of skin muscles when feeling these emotions" (Why do humans").

            How do we know when to itch our skin? Many factors can make us itch whether it's that ugly Christmas sweater we're told to wear or a hair that keeps brushing against our skin; we just have to itch that area. "The nerves that are found in our Dermis sends signals to our spinal cord, which then passes the message up to our cerebral cortex in our brain" ("When"). Our brain then tells us to itch, which can get annoying after awhile.

            Another annoying process our skin does is the art of aging. Many older people hate the sight of wrinkles while others accept nature.  "Wrinkles are caused by irregular thickening in the Dermis and a decrease in the amount of water held by the Epidermis" ("Why"). I consider some wrinkles as "good wrinkles". For me, I love when I see wrinkles on an older person around the mouth and cheeks suggesting that they have had many happy experiences through out their life from smiling a ton, but this "repetitive motion of muscle movements" ("Why do People") is what helps create those wrinkles.

what-do-you-know-about-the-human-brain-1322659772-oct-18-2012-1-600x400.jpg           A downside of getting old is saggy skin. This takes place when there is a "decrease in fat cells below the skin layer" (Why Do People) and that tight young skin isn't so stretchable anymore.


              These are just a few of the mysterious parts skin partakes in that I thought were interesting. Does anyone else find another part that fascinates them about our skin? Here is a list of twenty extra facts about our amazing skin.


Works Cited:

"How Does My Skin Affect My Overall Health?"  Discovery Fit & Health.  15 Sept. 2013 <http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/information/health-factors/skin-affect-overall-health.htm>.


"What Cause Cold Chills?" eHow Health. 15 Sept. 2013 <http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5474511_causes-cold-chills.html>.


"When You Have An Itch, What Is Happening Under Your Skin?" Discovery Fit & Health. 15 Sept. 2013 <http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/information/anatomy/question600.htm>.


"Why do humans get "goosebumps" when they are cold, or under other circumstances?" Scientific American. 15 Sept. 2013 <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-do-humans-get-goosebu>.


"Why Do People Get Wrinkles?" Livestrong.com. 15 Sept. 2013 <http://www.livestrong.com/article/78358-people-wrinkles/>.

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1 Comment

Danielle, this is a great article! One thing that my roommates and I have talked about before ( we talk about some pretty weird things) is how our skin is waterproof. I have never really thought about that until one day it was pouring and my roommate walked in soaking wet and just said "guys, isn't it weird how our skin is waterproof?" Think about it, it'll blow your mind. After I read your post I thought that this was the perfect time to explore this! This article gives a bit of background on the skin, and why it is indeed waterproof! http://io9.com/5906135/why-is-our-skin-waterproof

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