Integumentary System

The integumentary system refers to the skin.  The skin protects our bodies from pathogens and it’s the largest eliminative organ.  The skin produces vitamin D with the help of the sun, keeps the body hydrated, and stores fat tissue that can be used for energy.  The skin has three main layers, the epidermis, dermis, and the hypodermis or superficial fascia.

The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin.  The cells on this layer are further from the blood supply so they are constantly being shed and replaced by new cells.  There are cells in this layer called melanocytes that produce the pigment that makes up our complexion.  The dermis is a thick middle layer of skin.  Blood vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, oil glands, and lymph vessels are found in this layer of the skin.  The deepest layer, superficial fascia, contains fatty tissue that stores energy, protects the organs lower in the body, and insulates the entire body.