As the body's largest organ the skin serves as a waterproof covering that prevents excessive loss or gain of bodily moisture, that helps keep out pathogens (agents
such as a bacterium or fungus, that cause disease), and provides a barrier against invasion by outside organisms. The skin protects
underlying tissues and organs from abrasion and other injury, and its pigments shield the body from the dangerous ultraviolet rays in sunlight.
Regulator of body temperature:
It also helps human body to maintain normal temperature: its numerous sweat glands excrete waste products along with salt-laden moisture,
the evaporation of which may account, in certain circumstances, for as much as 90% of the cooling of the body; its fat cells act as
insulation against cold; and when the body overheats, the skin's extensive small blood vessels carry warm blood near the surface where it is cooled.
Human skin has remarkable self-healing properties, particularly when only the epidermis is damaged. Even when the injury damages the dermis,
healing may still be complete if the wounded area occurs in a part of the body with a rich blood supply. Deeper wounds, penetrating to the
underlying tissue, heal by scar formation. Scar tissue lacks the infection-resisting and metabolic functions of healthy skin; hence, sufficiently
extensive skin loss by widespread burns or wounds may cause death.
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