The skin is the largest organ of the body, with a total area of about 2 square metres. The skin protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate body temperature and permits the sensations of touch, heat and cold.
To help keep your body a constant temperature, blood vessels in the skin dilate in response to heat or constrict in response to cold.
The sebaceous glands secrete sebum, an oily substance that helps keep skin from drying out. Most of the glands are located in the base of hair follicles. Acne starts when the tiny hair follicles become plugged with these oily secretions.
When your body gets hot or is under stress, these glands produce sweat, which evaporates to cool you. Sweat glands are located all over the body but are especially abundant in your palms, soles, forehead, and underarms.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the skin, making up 75% of your skin. This is also your fountain of youth as it's responsible for warding off wrinkles and fine lines. Over time, environmental factors and ageing diminish your body's ability to produce collagen.
When you hear the word elastin, think elastic. This protein is found with collagen in the dermis and is responsible for giving structure to your skin and organs. As with collagen, elastin is affected by time and the elements. Diminished levels of this protein cause your skin to wrinkle and sag.
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