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Human Anatomy & Physiology

Chapter 6
Integumentary System
I. Skin and Its Tissues
Integument = covering
Skin is the largest organ in the body by weight
A. Functions
1. Provides a protective covering. Protection from:
a. mechanical damage
b. chemical damage
c. bacterial damage
d. ultraviolet damage
e. thermal damage
2. Regulates body temperature
3. Retards water loss
4. Contains sensory receptors
5. Synthesizes biochemicals
a. Vitamin D (necessary for bone and tooth development)
dehydrocholesterol is produced by cells in digestive system
dehydrocholesterol gets to the skin by blood
dehydrocholesterol + uv rays from sun Vitamin D
b. Keratinocytes
assist the immune system by producing hormone-like substances that
stimulate development of certain white blood cells (T lymphocytes)
6. Excretion of wastes
a. urea
b. uric acid
c. contained in perspiration produced by sweat glands
B. Layers (Figures 6.1, 6.2, 6.5)
1. Epidermis
a. No blood vessels
b. Stratum basale (stratum germinativum) = bottom layer
1. As cells at this layer divide they are pushed up toward the surface of the
2. The farther the cells move away from this layer, the poorer their
nutrient supply becomes and they die
3. Produces millions of new cells daily
c. keratinization: the older cells harden
keratin is a protein
d. stratum corneum: the outermost layer
many layers of rough tightly packed dead cells accumulate in this layer
e. these dead cells are shed
a new epidermis every 35 45 days
f. stratum lucidum: thick layer on the palms and soles of the feet
g. If an area of the epidermis is pressed a lot or endures a lot of friction, the
rate of cell division increases and a callus forms (corn when on the toe).

h. Skin color
1. Melanocytes: cells that produce melanin, found in stratum basale
2. Melanin: dark pigment that provides skin color
a. yellow
b. red/brown
c. black
3. Melanin absorbs UV radiation to prevent DNA mutations, a natural
4. Skin color is largely due to melanin.
5. All people have the same number of melanocytes
6. Differences in skin color come from differences in the amount of
melanin that melanocytes produce
7. Skin color is predominantly genetic
dark-skinned people are less likely to get skin cancer
8. Sunlight stimulates melanin production
9. Freckles and moles are concentrated spots of melanin
10. Blood in dermal vessels may affect skin color
a. blushing in a person with a light complexion = red
b. cyanosis: lack of oxygen in a person with a light complexion = blue
11. Other physiological factors
a. Diet: orange/yellow if the diet is high in yellow or orange
vegetables; high in beta carotene
b. Jaudice: skin turns yellow, a build up of bilirubin
c. Allergic reaction
d. Blanching: pale; from fear, anger, anemia, low blood pressure,
impaired blood flow
e. Black and blue markes: bruises, hematomas
blood has escaped from blood vessels and clotted in tissue spaces;
lack if vitamin C, bleeders disease
h. Skin Cancer (Figure 6A)
1. Cutaneous carcinomas
a. Examples: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma
b. Most common type of skin cancer
c. Most often occur in light-skinned people over the age of 40
d. Most common in people who are in the sun a lot on the neck,
scalp, or face: usually in areas that are over-exposed to the sun
e. Can usually be cured completely by surgical removal or radiation
2. Cutaneous melanomas 5% of skin cancers
a. Caused by short exposure to high intensity sunlight (light skinned
people who are often indoors but get a blistering sunburn)
b. Not associated with sustained sun exposure
c. First spreads horizontally from either normal looking skin or a mole
d. Then it grows downward into deeper tissue
e. If it is removed in the horizontal stage, it can be treated
f. If it has moved downward into deeper tissue, it is difficult to treat

and survival rate is low

g. Prevention: avoid over-exposure to sunlight, use sunscreen and
sunblock, examine moles regularly
ABCD rule: A= Asymmetry
B= Border irregularity
C= Color
D= Diameter
2. Dermis
a. Dermal papillae: boundary between the epidermis and dermis
1. Fingerprints form from this layer
2. Fingerprints are genetic
3. Patterns can be changed as a fetus moves and presses the forming ridges
against the uterine wall the fingerprints of identical twins are
not identical
4. Fingerprints increase friction and grip
b. Sensory receptors and nerves
c. Thick in palms and soles, thin in eyelids
d. Blood vessels
Expand when the body wants to lose heat
Contract when the body wants to conserve heat
e. Accessory structures
3. Subcutaneous Layer (hypodermis)
a. not a true layer of the skin
II. Accessory Structures of the Skin
A. Nails
1. Protective coverings at the end of the digits
2. Lunula: lighter, thick half-moon shaped region at the base of the nail covers
the most actively growing region.
B. Hair
1. Present on almost all surfaces; except palms, soles, lips
2. Develops from a hair follicle
3. Grows from the hair root and pushes the hair upward as it grows
4. The cells die and become keratinized
5. Genes determine hair color which is due to type and amount of pigment the
melanocytes produce
6. Albinism
7. Arrector pili muscles: attached to each hair follicle
contract when the person is emotionally upset or cold
goose bumps
C. Sebaceous Glands
1. Secrete an oily mixture called sebum into the hair follicle
2. Sebum helps keep the hair and skin soft, pliable, and waterproof
a. sebum = oily, grease
b. sebum kills bacteria
4. Sebaceous glands increase production when sex hormones increase more oil
at puberty

5. Not found on the hands or feet

D. Sweat Glands
1. Eccrine sweat glands
a. most abundant, all over the body, approximately 2.5 million
b. help reduce body temperature by evaporation
c. sweat is mostly water, plus a bit of salt, vitamin C, urea, and uric acid
a person can lose up to 7 liters of water on a hot day
2. Apocrine sweat glands
a. Become active at puberty
b. Most numerous in the axillary and groin regions
c. Secretions are emptied into hair follicles
secretion has sweat, fatty acids, proteins yellowish color
d. The secretions produce a scent when bacteria break it down
3. Others
a. produce ear wax
b. mammary glands that produce milk in females
III. Disorders