As discussed in the immune chapter, the skin forms the first line of defense for our bodies. It’s primary functions include:
- Mechanical and chemical damage resistance
- Bacterial damage
- Ultraviolet radiation
- Thermal control
- Excretion of waste
- Production of Vitamin D
The Skin’s Primary Role
It’s most important role is to protect us from our environment and to keep the outside world out. And to do this, the skin uses both the innate and the adaptive immune mechanisms.
The biggest difficulty is that the skin must not only scale attacks against foreign invaders, it must do so under unique and ever-changing conditions (humidity, temperature, exposure, etc). While at the same time, it is required to try (for the most part) and accomplish these things without the use of inflammation (which can undermine its normal structure and development).
As a result, implementing a solid defense strategy can become quite a complex problem.
This section introduced the primary functions our skin performs. Key points include:
- The skin performs a variety of functions and must do so under ever-changing circumstances, which can create difficulties
- It’s main role is to protect us from the outside world and it’s activity must be carefully regulated to prevent self-inflicted damage