Anatomy & Organs

Skin – structure, function & diseases


The condition of the skin is not only an indication of existing diseases. The skin also plays a primary role in connection with the aesthetics and the visual appearance of a person. In addition, the skin takes on numerous functions.

What is the skin

The skin is a natural covering made up of several layers. It not only surrounds the externally visible part of the body. The skin is an organ that also lines or envelops many internal organs. It is also known as cutis or derma in medicine.

On the skin there is a visible layer of microorganisms, which is technically correctly referred to as skin flora . An intact skin flora is the prerequisite for healthy skin and its unrestricted functionality and beauty. In addition, the skin, like every organ, is subject to the natural aging processes and can become diseased as a result of various influences.

Anatomy & Structure

Surely many people already know that the skin is a complex of different layers, which in turn consist of different tissues and these in turn consist of varying cells. If the skin were to be cut through, the first thing that could be seen in cross section is the outer skin layer, the epidermis.Below this is the second layer of skin, the dermis, which is also correctly called the corium. The lowest layer of skin is the hypodermis or sub (-under) cutis. Another anatomical medium can be recognized within the structures of the skin. The fibrous collagen substance gives the skin its limited elasticity and resistance.

The individual layers of the skin remain intact for a lifetime. The skin renews itself in that the keratinized and no longer functional skin cells simply fall off.

Functions & Tasks

The function of the skin depends on several areas. The natural shell holds the entire body together inside and out and also performs a whole range of protective functions.

If the skin is intact, it is considered an ideal shield against low and high outside temperatures. The skin thus takes on a significant part in the context of “climatization” of the organism. It can shed excess energy when overheated and retain heat when overcooled. The skin is therefore an important temperature regulator.

The skin provides further protection against UV radiation, mechanical influences and chemical substances. In addition, the skin serves to a certain extent as a “gliding organ” and for moistening in the form of the mucous membranes. In addition, the skin represents a natural barrier against the loss of fluid and prevents the access of microorganisms.

Within the sensory organs, humans are able to feel movement and pain through the skin via the receptors in the nerves . Temperature differences and deviating pressures are received through the skin. The skin is used like a feeler when palpating. In addition, the skin is constantly busy repairing itself.


As reliable as skin is, it is equally vulnerable. A whole range of skin diseases is treated in dermatology . These include both acquired and congenital skin defects or diseases.Skin diseases are characterized by various symptoms such as dandruff , annoying itching , redness , scab formation , weeping, wheals , papules , pustules and rashes . The classic diseases of the skin include shingles , neurodermatitis , psoriasis , acne , fungal diseases, heroes, eczema , warts and port-wine stain. The individual skin diseases are characterized by different courses and show a more or less good prognosis.

The skin reacts extremely sensitively to abnormal changes in the organism. These can lead to diseases in the skin on physical or psychological impairments. Vaginal thrush , thrush , hyperhidrosis and hair loss are also considered skin diseases. Individual diseases of the skin relate in particular to the mucous membranes or only special skin tissues.

Many skin diseases can be hereditary or genetic. In addition, some skin problems only appear in adulthood.

Typical & common diseases

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.