THE LIVING SKIN
By C. LESLIE THOMSON.
Most people are aware of the importance of their skin to their appearance -‐ showing them to be either glowing with health or pale and pasty -‐ but fewer realise how much their health actually depends upon the skin’s activity. It is no accident that when we check the state of the blood cleansing organs of a new patient, the skin comes ﬁrst on our list. Not only does its superﬁcial position make it easy to examine; its condition reﬂects that of the body as a whole, while any disorder in its functions affects the entire system.
To give us a starting outline, the skin’s principal tasks may be listed as : -‐
(1) Keeping the body outwardly neat and tidy
(2) Protecting internal tissues and organs
(3) Regulating the temperature of the body
(4) Throwing out wastes
(5) Growing hair
(6) Keeping its own surface waterproof and resistant
(7) Keeping out harmful stuffs
(8) Absorbing sunlight
(9) Telling us much about the world we live in
(10) Adapting itself to the owner’s life
One could add considerably to that list, but it will be enough to keep us occupied for some time. Let us see how these various functions are performed in health, disrupted in disease and restored by treatment.