Skin and hair serve as the first physical and protective barriers of the body, filtering out particles, toxins and other elements that would otherwise be absorbed into the body. In this way, they have similar roles to the lungs and are therefore considered closely related in Chinese medical theory.
Anatomy and Physiology of Skin and Hair
Skin, also called the “third lung”, has a special connection to the lungs, helping to eliminate carbon dioxide through the pours and sweat. Blood vessels in the skin create sweat to release heat and control temperature, while maintaining the ability to retain water and prevent dehydration. Skin absorbs chemicals, such as oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide that aid the respiratory system in the body.
Skin comprises the fastest multiplying cells in the body, forming the largest organ in the human body— weighing between three to four kilograms and measuring two square metres. Together skin, hair and fingernails make up the integumentary system, which waterproofs, cushions and protects the body from outside harm and damage. Special types of nerve endings located in the skin allow the body to recognise touch, pressure, and temperature.
The skin consists of two primary layers:
Outer epidermis—The first barrier between the physical body and its environment, warding off pathogens and infection, as well as regulating water released from the body.
Dermis—Protects with blood vessels, sense of touch, body temperature regulation, as well as sweat glands. Subcutaneous fat under the dermis provides extra thermal insulation in response to cold and heat so that the body can maintain homeostasis.
“Deep inside all of us happiness and joy can be found” Dr Mirella