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The Integumentary System Dr. Angelo Smith m d whpl


Introduction The organs of the integumentary system include the skin and its accessory structures including hair, nails, and glands, as well as blood vessels, muscles and nerves Dermatology is the medical specialty for the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the integumentary system.

Structure of the Skin:

Structure of the Skin The skin ( cutaneous membrane) covers the body and is the largest organ of the body by surface area and weight Its area is about 2 square meters (22 square feet) and weighs 4.5-5kg (10-11 lb), about 7% of body weight It is 0.5 – 4 mm thick, thinnest on the eyelids, thickest on the heels; the average thickness is 1 – 2 mm

Structure of the Skin:

Structure of the Skin It consists of two major layers: outer, thinner layer called the epidermis , consists of epithelial tissue (see video) inner, thicker layer called the dermis Beneath the dermis is a subcutaneous (subQ) layer (also called hypodermis ) which attaches the skin to the underlying tissues and organs.


Epidermis Covers, protects, and waterproofs. Contains four main layers: Stratum corneum : Keratinized layer. Prevents loss or entry of water; protects against pathogens and chemicals. Stratum lucidum: Found only on palms of hands and soles of feet; protects against UV sunrays to prevent sunburn. Stratum granulosum Stratum germinativum: The innermost layer of epidermis, is the only layer that undergoes cell division & contains melanin & keratin-forming cells.

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The epidermis has a number of important characteristics: the epidermis is composed of keratinized stratified squamous epithelium it contains four major types of cells: Keratinocytes (90% of the cells) produce keratin which is a tough fibrous protein that provides protection. Melanocytes : which produce the pigment melanin that protects against damage by ultraviolet radiation Langerhans cells: involved in immune responses, arise from red bone marrow Merkel cells: which function in the sensation of touch along with the adjacent tactile discs

Types of Cells in the Epidermis:

Types of Cells in the Epidermis

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The epidermis, hair, nail, dental enamel, & horny tissues are composed of keratin. It is replaced every 3-4 weeks. Skin color depends on: The amount of melanin & carotene" yellow pigment " contained in the skin The volume of blood containing hemoglobin The oxygen-binding pigment that circulates in the dermis.


Dermis The dermis has several important characteristics: is composed of connective tissue containing collagen and elastic fibers contains two layers the outer papillary region consists of areolar connective tissue containing thin collagen and elastic fibers, dermal papillae (including capillary loops ) , corpuscles of touch and free nerve endings

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The deeper reticular region consists of dense irregular connective tissue containing collagen and elastic fibers adipose cells, hair follicles, nerves, sebaceous (oil) glands, and sudoriferous (sweat) glands Striae or stretch marks can appear if the skin is stretched too much

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Sweat Glands (Sudoriferous): Most numerous on palms of hands and soles of feet. Two types are eccrine and apocrine glands. Eccrine Glands: Respond to external temperature and psychological stress. Found over most of body but most numerous on palms of hands and soles of feet; secrete sweat, which helps regulate body temperature and, to a lesser degree, excretes wastes such as urea.

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Apocrine or Odoriferous Glands: Found in axilla and genital area. Respond to stress; secrete pheromones, a substance with a barely perceptible odor; when apocrine secretions react with bacteria, body odor results. Ceruminous glands are a type of apocrine gland found in the external ear canal. They secrete cerumen, which prevents drying of the ear drum and traps foreign substances.

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Sebaceous Glands: Produce sebum, which lubricates and protects skin and hair. Cholesterol: Converts to vitamin D when exposed to UV lights. Arterioles: Dilate when hot to increase heat loss and constrict when cold to conserve heat. Constrict in response to stressful situations to shunt blood to vital organs.

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Lines of cleavage - “tension lines” in the skin indicate the predominant direction of underlying collagen fibers Epidermal ridges reflect contours of the underlying dermal papillae and form the basis for fingerprints (and footprints); their function is to increase firmness of grip by increasing friction. Dermatoglyphics - the study of the pattern of epidermal ridges

Cleavage (Tension) Lines and Striae:

Cleavage (Tension) Lines and Striae Cleavage ( tension ) lines : elastin and collagen fibers oriented in some directions more than in others Important in surgery If incision parallel to lines, there is less gapping, faster healing, less scar tissue If skin is overstretched, striae (stretch marks) occur

Hypodermis / Subcutaneous:

Hypodermis / Subcutaneous Connective Tissue: Connects skin to muscles; contains white blood cells. Adipose Tissue: Contains stored energy, cushions bony prominences, provides insulation.

Accessory Structures of the Skin :

Accessory Structures of the Skin include hair, and nails Hairs (pili) have a number of important functions: protection reduction of heat loss sensing light touch

The Hair:

The Hair The hair is also made up of keratinized cells. Vellus , which is short, pale, and fine hair, is located over all of the body. Terminal hairs, which are dark and coarse, are found on the scalp, brows, and, after puberty, on the legs, axillae, and perineum.

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Hair is composed of dead, keratinized epidermal cells Hair consists of: shaft which mostly projects above the surface of the skin root which penetrates into the dermis hair follicle epithelial root sheath – (downward continuation of the epidermis) dermal root sheath


Nails Nails are composed of hard, keratinized epidermal cells located over the dorsal surfaces of the ends of fingers and toes Each nail consists of: free edge transparent nail body (plate) with a whitish lunula at its base nail root embedded in a fold of skin



Types of Skin:

Types of Skin There are two major types of skin: thin (hairy) skin covers all body regions except the palms, palmar surfaces of digits, and soles thick (hairless) skin covers the palms, palmar surfaces of digits, and soles


Aging EFFECTS wrinkling decrease of skin ’ s immune responsiveness dehydration and cracking of the skin decreased sweat production decreased numbers of functional melanocytes resulting in gray hair and atypical skin pigmentation loss of subcutaneous fat a general decrease in skin thickness an increased susceptibility to pathological conditions Growth of hair and nails decreases; nails may also become more brittle with age.

Functions of the Skin:

Functions of the Skin regulation of body temperature blood reservoir protection cutaneous sensations excretion and absorption synthesis of vitamin D

Relationship of the Integumentary System to Other Systems:

Relationship of the Integumentary System to Other Systems

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ENDOCRINE Thyroid affects growth and texture of skin, hair and nails. Hormones stimulate sebaceous glands. Sex hormones affect hair growth and distribution, fat and subcutaneous tissue distribution and activity of apocrine sweat glands. Adrenal hormones affect dermal blood supply and mobilize lipids from adipocytes.

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URINARY Kidneys remove waste and maintain normal pH. Skin helps eliminate water and waste. Skin prevents excess fluid loss. DIGESTIVE Skin synthesizes vitamin D for calcium and phosphorous absorption. Supplies nutrients while skin stores lipids.

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CARDIOVASCULAR Mast cell stimulation produces localized changes in blood flow and capillary permeability. CV system provides nutrients and removes wastes. Delivers hormones and lymphocytes. Provides heat for skin temperature. SKELETAL Skin synthesizes vitamin D needed for calcium and phosphorus absorption. Skeletal system provides a framework for skin.

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LYMPHATIC / IMMUNE Skin is first line of defense. Langerhan cells and macrophages resist infection. Mast cells trigger inflammatory responses. Lymphatic system protects skin by sending more macrophages and lymphocytes when needed. RESPIRATORY Provides oxygen to and removes carbon dioxide from integumentary system. Color of skin and nails can reflect changes in respiratory system.

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MUSCULAR Skin synthesizes vitamin D needed for calcium absorption for muscle contraction. Gives shape to and supports skin. Contraction of facial muscles allows communication through expressions. NEUROLOGICAL Sensory receptors in dermis to touch, temperature, pressure, vibration and pain. Provides communication with external environment. Controls blood flow and sweating through thermoregulation.

Seasonal Skin Disorders:

Seasonal Skin Disorders Spring: Chickenpox, Acne flare-ups Summer: Contact dermatitis, Tinea, Candida, Impetigo, Insect bites Fall: Senile pruritus/winter itch, Pityriasis rosea, Urticaria, Acne flare-ups Winter: Contact dermatitis of hands, Senile pruritus / winter itch, Psoriasis, Eczema 49

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