The human skin is the outer covering of the body. It is the largest organ of the integumentary system. It completely covers the body and is continuous with the membranes lining the body orifices. Human skin is similar to that of most other mammals, except that it is not protected by fur.

The skin interfaces with the environment and hence plays an important immunity role by protecting the body against pathogens and excessive water loss.

The skin performs the following functions:

  • Protects the underlying muscles, ligaments, bones and internal organs from injury
  • Provides protection from microbes and other foreign bodies by forming a physical barrier
  • Contains sensory i.e. somatic nerves endings for sensations like pain, temperature and touch
  • Regulates body temperature

Topics in this section

  • Structure of the skin
    • Epidermis
    • Dermis
  • Functions of the skin
    • Protection
    • Regulation of body temperature
    • Formation of vitamin D
    • Sensation
    • Absorption
    • Excretion
  • Wound healing
    • Conditions required for wound healing
    • Primary healing (healing by first intention)
    • Secondary healing (healing by second intention)
  • Disorders of the skin
    • Infections
      • Viral infections
      • Bacterial infections
      • Fungal infections
    • Non-infective and inflammatory conditions
      • Eczema and dermatitis
      • Psoriasis
      • Acne vulgaris
    • Pressure sores
    • Burns
    • Malignant tumors