The skin is the largest organ in the body, and arguably one of the most fascinating. It protects everything beneath it–muscles, tissues, organs, ligaments, and cells. It’s our first layer of defense against outside hazards, visible or microscopic. It also gives us the physical characteristics that set us apart. Just how does our skin keep us safe? Let’s dive into that question.
The Anatomy of Your Skin
Your skin is made up of the integumentary system, which consists of three layers:
- The epidermis: The outermost layer and the first line of defense from the elements. Special cells called melanocytes live here, and produce the pigments that color your skin. This layer is also waterproof, which is why we don’t swell when we bathe. These cells have the miraculous ability to regenerate, unlike other cells in our bodies. This is the layer that heals our wounds.
- The dermis. The middle layer that lies below the epidermis. The dermis harbors connective tissue, collagen (the healing protein), elastin (what allows your skin to stretch), hair follicles, lymph nodes, and sweat glands. This is the layer that medical microneedling, a procedure for stimulating collagen production, targets.
- The hypodermis. The deepest layer, the hypodermis, consists of fat and connective tissue. This layer is what connects your skin to the underlying fascia (tissue) of the bones and muscles. Some experts disagree as to whether the hypodermis counts as an official layer. The hypodermis houses our fat-storing cells, whose job is to store energy in case of famine, insulate our body from the cold, and act as a cushion in case of traumatic impacts. The location of fat storage is based on hormones and our age, which is why men accumulate fat in different areas than women.
Common Wear and Tear
As the body’s first line of defense, it is not uncommon for the skin to experience some wear and tear, which can result in the following conditions:
- Rashes. These are usually simple skin irritations that go away after a few days.
- Dermatitis. A step above the rash, dermatitis is the word for skin inflammation. Eczema is the most common form of this.
- Psoriasis. This condition affects the skin but is not caused by externally. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that leads to skin rashes.
- Dandruff. This is the excess flaking of dead skins on the epidermis.
- Acne. Acne occurs when the pores are clogged by bacteria, dirt, or oils and inflame.
- Warts. Warts are viruses that attack your skin and cause excess skins to grow.
- Sunburn. When you’ve received too much sun, your skin turns a bright red and eventually peels as it dies and falls off. Melanoma is a dangerous skin cancer caused in part by sun damage.
- Ringworm. This is a fungus that attacks the skin and has nothing to do with worms.
- Scabies. Scabies are tiny mites that burrow into the skin, forming itchy rashes.
The Power of Healing
One of its most impressive abilities is the skin’s power to heal. When you are wounded, your body has a set system to repair the site of injury. First, it stops the bleeding by sending platelets to the injury site to form a scab. White blood cells then converge in the area to prevent infections as the tissue begins to grow and rebuild. Broken blood vessels are repaired, red blood cells help create collagen and new skin forms over this tissue.
As the wound continues to heal, the edges pull inward and the wound gets smaller until a scar is left, which forms because the new tissue doesn’t grow back quite the same as the old tissue.
Microneedling and the Power of Skin
Medical microneedling is a non-invasive procedure that harnesses the skin’s ability to heal itself, to eliminate fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging. It uses “micro-injuries” to trigger a healing response without damaging the skin. After a microneedling procedure, tissue begins to rebuild, using collagen and elastin to plump out your skin and smooth out the lines and wrinkles. Microneedling is also effective in improving discolorations, stretch marks, acne, and other scars.
MDPen helps microneedling practitioners improve the lives of their patients through microneedling. MDPen values every person’s right to look and feel amazing, and we do everything we can to help you achieve that. Along with our skincare products, MDPen maintains a network of microneedling practitioners in your area. Visit us online to find one near your area.