Exocrine (skin)

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The skin isn’t often thought of as a body organ, but it is in fact the largest.  It contains many of our sensors connecting us to the surrounding physical world.  It’s functions include:

  • Protecting the body against pathogens
  • Preventing excessive water loss
  • Insulation and temperature regulation
  • Sensation
  • Vitamin D production

Skin senses

Do we breathe through the skin?  Some animals do breathe through the skin, but the amount of oxygen humans absorb this way is minuscule.  Contrary to the theory in the James Bond Goldfinger film, covering all your skin so it cannot breathe will not result in death.

Sweat glands in the skin do play an active part in ridding the body of toxins, but it is a small percentage compared to the work done by the liver and kidneys.  Sweat itself is odourless; smell associated with sweating is usually caused by bacteria living in the wet pores of the skin.