Integumentary System Functions in Human Body
Just like any other organ system in your body, the integumentary system does accomplish certain functions of vital importance. All the smaller and larger parts, including skin, hair, nails, glands and nerves, have their own particular jobs, thus ensuring the survival and the maintenance of perfect health of the individual. The tasks assigned to this system include protection, regulation of the body temperature, metabolic assistance, blood reservoir, cutaneous sensation, excretion and so on. So, if you want to have a bit 'know how' about the working and value of the body's outer covering and its appendages, just go through the following post:
The skin, being the largest organ of the body, serves as an efficient protective covering against any physical damages to the internal delicate organs of the body. To bring excellence in its protective function, the skin makes use of three kinds of safeguarding barriers, which are chemical barrier, physical or mechanical barrier and biological barrier for shielding the muscles, bones and other body parts against any kinds of possible damages. In this way, it acts as insulation against the sun's ultra-violet rays and invasion of the germs or pathogens. Furthermore, it holds moisture into deeper tissues and keeps them from drying out. In the same way, hair on the head acts as a defensive coating round the scalp that, in turn, encloses the master organ of your body brain.
Various chemical reactions and processes taking place across each and every corner of the body can be executed best at a narrow range of temperature, but extreme fluctuations in temperature of the external environment may cause a trouble. Here the regulatory potential of the skin comes into action and the sweat glands try to keep the body cool in the scorching heat of summer. Meanwhile, the blood vessels in the skin help in the retention or dissipation of heat and the capillaries either dilate or constrict for the regulation of the blood flow.
Melanocytes in the epidermal layer of the skin are associated with the synthesis of a dark-colored pigment, called melanin, which renders characteristic darker appearance to the body. Besides coloration, the melanin pigment also safeguards the body against the troublesome carcinogenic effects of the sun's UV (ultraviolet) radiations, thus preventing the development of skin cancer.
Vitamin D Synthesis
Here it is noteworthy that the UV rays from the sun do have some positive effects for the body, as certain organic compounds combine with these radiations for the synthesis of very useful end products, such as vitamin D. This fat-soluble vitamin, on the other hand, occurs in several forms, like D2 and D3, and facilitates the normal growth of teeth and bones.
Though the skin does not allow the entry of the potentially harmful agents of the chemical, biological or mechanical nature into the body, it does allow the inward movement of certain useful chemicals as well as drugs.
Sensory perception is one of the very important integumentary system functions, which helps the individual in the detection and generation of appropriate response to the environmental stimuli. The nerves, present in the skin, show sensitivity towards various kinds of stimuli, including pain, pressure, touch and temperature.
Storage can be regarded as one of the additional function of the protective body covering. Different useful substances, like salt, water, vitamins, fats and chemicals are temporarily stored herein.