Know your Body – Skin
Skin the longest
Your skin is a fabulous bag for your body. It’s stretchy and waterproof. Skin covers your whole body. It protects you from germs, water, sunshine, and helps keep your body at the right
temperature. Your skin has two main layers. The top one – the one you can see – is called the epidermis. Underneath is the dermis, where there are nerves and blood vessels.
Skin is the heaviest single part of your body. It can weigh as much as a bag of heavy shopping. The skin stops water from getting into your body when you have a shower or go for a swim. It also stops fluids from escaping from inside you. When you soak in water for a long time, the top layer of your skin gets waterlogged and wrinkly.
Your skin can help if you’re feeling too hot or too cold. Your blood vessels, hair, and sweat glands cooperate to keep your body at just the right temperature. If you were to run around in the heat, you could get overheated. If you play outside when it’s cold, your inner temperature could drop. Either way, your skin can help.
The colour of your skin is affected by a substance called melanin. The more melanin you have, the darker you will be. When you are outside in the sun, your body produces extra melanin to protect your skin. This melanin makes your skin darker and you get a suntan. When sweat dries on your skin, it helps to cool you down. Sweat comes from coiled tubes under the surface. It gets out through tiny holes called pores.
Unlike other organs, your skin likes good washing. When you wash your skin, use water and a bar of mild soap. And don’t forget to cover scrapes and cuts with gauze or a bandage. This keeps the dirt out and helps prevent infections. It’s just one way to be kind to the skin you’re in!