SKIN MANAGEMENT IN SPINAL CORD INJURY: THE
The skin is the external covering of the body. It is
tough and, at the same time, pliable. Its major function is to protect the
underlying cells. Just like the heart or the liver, the skin is an organ.
In fact, it is considered the largest organ and is every bit as complex,
if not more complex, than any of the other organ systems of the body.
The skin serves several protective functions:
Its unbroken surface presents a barrier against air, water, most foreign
substances, and germs.
The skin has the ability to repair its own minor wounds, such as scratches
Regulation of heat loss is another important function of the skin. The body
is cooled by the evaporation of sweat and the radiation of heat through the
The skin is well supplied with nerves, and, because it is, the skin gives
us the sensations of pressure, touch, pain, and temperature.
The skin has the ability to eliminate water, salts, and oils.
Beneath the skin is a layer of tissue containing fatty materials which have
both insulating and cushioning properties. Both the skin and the fatty tissue
cover and protect the muscles.
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of the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, all rights