The 5 parts of the integumentary system—skin, hair, nails, glands, and nerves—protect the body from environmental elements
The integumentary system is made up of organs and structures that protect the inside of the body from environmental elements. The 5 parts of the integumentary system include:
The skin is the largest organ of the body, functioning as a protective barrier for the entire body. It is made up of three layers:
- Epidermis: Outer layer of the skin that is a strong protective covering.
- Dermis: Located under the epidermis and contains most structures of the skin (such as various types of glands and hair follicles).
- Hypodermis: Fatty layer of the skin that forms the subcutaneous tissue.
Hair not only enhances appearance but also helps:
- Protect the skin
- Regulate body temperature
- Produce sweat
The functions of the nails are to protect the fingers and toes from injury and to hope with touch.
There are three types of glands in the human skin:
- Eccrine glands are distributed throughout the body, and their function is to regulate body temperature through the secretion of fluids.
- Apocrine glands are found in the axilla and pubic area.
- Sebaceous glands secrete an oily substance called sebum, which prevents fluid loss and protects the skin from damaging microorganisms.
9 functions of the integumentary system
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Medically Reviewed on 1/18/2022
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Kim JY, Dao H. Physiology, Integument. [Updated 2021 May 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554386/
Zouboulis CC. Skin Glands: Sebaceous, Eccrine, and Apocrine Glands. In: Kang S, Amagai M, Bruckner AL, Enk AH, Margolis DJ, McMichael AJ, Orringer JS. eds. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology, 9e. McGraw Hill; 2019. Accessed January 11, 2022. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=2570§ionid=210415495