The more you can educate yourself about your skin, the more successfully you can treat it and keep it healthy. Here are 10 more facts that will surprise, inform and advise you on the largest organ in the body.
- The average adult has around 300 million skin cells covering their body. That’s a lot, especially when you realise that we also shed around 30,000-40,000 cells every minute, creating a new layer of skin every 28 days.
- Your skin is home to more than 1,000 different types of bacteria. The majority of this bacteria is completely harmless to the skin. In fact, some species even help to keep the skin healthy and ward off potential irritants.
- The skin is almost completely waterproof. The outer layer, which is made up of ceramides, oils and keratinocytes, prevents water from seeping into the body – which is why we don’t swell up after taking a bath or swimming in the sea.
- The dermis is where collagen and elastin reside. It’s in this deeper, secondary layer where the skin’s flexibility, strength and plumpness are maintained, so it is important to use anti-aging skin care that can effectively penetrate the surface layers if you want to see real results.
- There are several different types of nerve sensors in the skin and they each have a different function. Some register pressure, some register pain and some register heat, with the highest concentration of sensors being found in the face and hands.
- Thanks to small loops of blood vessels in the skin, the body can control your core temperature. If you are too hot, blood vessels in the skin will dilate to release heat and if you are cold, these blood vessels constrict to conserve heat.
- If exposed to constant friction or pressure, the skin can toughen itself up to prevent damage. It does this by increasing the production of cells so that a thicker layer of skin can develop in problem areas. More commonly known calluses, they generally appear on the hands and feet as a way to prevent blisters and cuts from developing.
- When you sleep, the skin switches to ‘recovery mode’ to repair daily damage. The HGH (human growth hormone) kicks in at night, triggering an increase in cell regeneration which can almost triple skin cell production between the hours of 11pm and 4am.
- The skin loses a lot of water while you sleep. This is down to a number of factors but is mainly because the body’s temperature drops at night, you sweat more and cell production goes into overdrive, all of which increase the amount of moisture evaporating from the skin.
- Pimples don’t just appear overnight. It takes a spot around 1-3 weeks to fully develop and reach the surface of the skin.
Image from iStockphoto