The human body is made of several different systems and organs that perform specific functions & processes. All these systems and organs work in synchronization with each other to keep our body healthy & working. Our body is so complex that we might not even know the most important systems & processes inside it. One such important body system is the Integumentary system, which consists of the skin & different components attached to it. Some of you might have heard about this system for the first time. Thus, to provide you with a better idea, let’s learn more about the Integumentary system in detail.
What is the integumentary system?
The Integumentary system refers to the body system consisting of the skin and its various attachments. Thus, this system is present all around the body as a protective cover against all kinds of damages. Our skin is made up of different layers, but the two main layers of it are Dermis and Epidermis. So these two layers along with other components like nails, hair, skin scales, feathers, and hooves, etc. This system protects the body and inner organs from harmful outer agents. There are 7 main functions of the Integumentary system that everyone should know about.
Integumentary system function
Protection – The most important function of this system is to protect our body against harmful external agents. It protects our deeper tissues and organs from infections by fighting harmful bacteria & germs. Furthermore, it helps in preventing internal health issues like dehydration. Also, it acts as a barrier against issues like infection after injuries & burns. Finally, the Integumentary system protects our body from sunburns and UV rays.
Regulates body temperature – This system helps in maintaining the right body temperature in different kinds of conditions. Firstly, the sweat glands are a part of this system, which helps in releasing sweat during our work out sessions or during fever. Sweating is also a great way to get rid of certain waste materials from the body. Secondly, when we feel cold and we need to warm the body up, the goosebumps on our skin help in raising the body temperature. Thus, the Integumentary system is useful in the body’s temperature regulation.
Produces Vitamin D
The exposure of the Integumentary system’s epidermis layer of skin to UV light helps in the production of Vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D further helps in the absorption of the calcium & maintenance of the phosphorus levels in the body. Moreover, it also helps in keeping the bones strong, while protecting the body against infections by boosting immunity
Acts as a receptor – This system also acts as a receptor with the help of the sensory nervous system. The presence of various nerve receptors helps you to feel sensations like touch, ache, strain, hotness, and coldness. Thus, it helps you to perform all kinds of activities while preventing you from getting yourself hurt through excess heat, strain, or cold.
Stores important elements – The Integumentary system also stores different essential elements like fats, water, vitamin D, and glucose. The fats help in storing energy and protecting our internal body organs & tissues. The water helps in maintaining body temperature and other life-sustaining body functions. Vitamin D is useful for boosting immunity, bone health, and skin health. And, the glucose helps in providing energy to the body to carry out all physical tasks.
Repair & Maintenance
When you suffer from minor injury to the skin, this system helps in repairing your skin quickly. Basically, the repair process carried out the generation of new epidermal cells from the stratum germinativum. Furthermore, this system helps in the preservation of the body’s form by keeping skin safe & healthy from harmful external agents.
Absorption of toxins – Finally, the Integumentary system helps in the absorption of various toxins like drugs and other chemicals in the body. Thus, if you are taking any prescription drugs, this system will help in the absorption and processing of those. Consequently, the drugs in your body are absorbed, distributed, metabolized and excreted in the end.
So these were the 7 main functions of the Integumentary system that everyone should be aware of. Like all other body systems, this system is very crucial for our body’s overall appearance and health. It helps to protect our body against various internal and external problems like infections, injuries, and unexpected temperature changes, etc.