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10 Facts About Your Skin That You Won’t Believe

We look at our skin every day, but there are some pretty amazing facts about it that you probably never knew. Find out what they are here. 

When’s the last time you thanked your skin? Or, better yet, the last time you looked in the mirror, did you think, even for a second, “hey, skin… you’re pretty awesome.”

When you’re living with a skin condition, it’s normal to have a love-hate relationship with the “s-word.” And if your skin condition is severe, it can often lean more toward the side of hate.

But not today. Today is the day we celebrate the skin with a few incredible facts about our body’s largest organ (true!), most of which you probably didn’t know, didn’t believe, or never even thought about. For example….

  1. Did you know that your skin usually accounts for about 16% of your bodyweight?1
  2. Or, better yet, did you know that you shed 50,000 skin cells per minute as the organ is constantly evolving and adapting?2
  3. Wonder where these skin cells go? They’re all around, as globally, dead skin accounts for about a billion tons of dust in the atmosphere.3
  4. These skin cells are formed in three distinct layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutis4

Okay, so that’s all pretty awesome. The skin is a massive organ with three distinct layers, hundreds of millions of cells, and an incredible regeneration and renewal process. It’s also constantly working to protect the rest of the human anatomy. How you ask?

  1. Well, on a hot day you can sweat out up to 11 liters of sweat through your skin to regulate body temperature!5
  2. Your skin has at least five different types of receptors that respond to pain & touch, alerting the brain and spine to all kinds of stimuli. 6
  3. Do you know why your fingers and toes get all wrinkly when you’re in the pool for too long? According to recent studies, our fingers and toes wrinkle in water to provide better grip.7

Our skin is helping us adapt to strange environments! If you think we’re the only ones fascinated with the human skin, allow these last few facts to speak for themselves.

  1. There are 30,413 search results for the word “skin” within the book section for Amazon.com.
  2. Google has approximately 917 million search results for the word skin…every month.
  3. Wikipedia has almost 5,700 words and 43 citations on its “Human_skin” page.

Human skin… it’s big, complex, helpful, and fascinating. It’s constantly evolving and works every day to protect us from external threats, both big and microbial sized.

So, next time you’re in front of the mirror, why don’t you give your skin the credit it deserves?

  1. Rush A, Muir M. Maintaining skin integrity bariatric patients. Br J Community Nurs. 2012 Apr;17(4):154, 156-9. PubMed PMID: 22848937. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22848937
  2. Discover Magazine. “20 Things You Didn’t Know About… Skin.” Sean Markey. Written Feb 6, 2007 http://discovermagazine.com/2007/feb/20-things-skin/
  3. Discover Magazine. “20 Things You Didn’t Know About… Skin.” Sean Markey. Written Feb 6, 2007. http://discovermagazine.com/2007/feb/20-things-skin/
  4. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “Medical Animation Library. Components of skin.” http://www.pennmedicine.org/encyclopedia/em_DisplayAnimation.aspx?gcid=000029&ptid=17
  5. Discover Magazine. “20 Things You Didn’t Know About… Skin.” Sean Markey. Written Feb 6, 2007. http://discovermagazine.com/2007/feb/20-things-skin/
  6. Neuroscience. 2nd edition. Purves D, Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D, et al., editors. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates; 2001. Cutaneous and Subcutaneous Somatic Sensory Receptors. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11162/
  7. Scientific American. “Why Do Our Fingers and Toes Wrinkle During a Bath.” Becky Summers & Nature Magazine. Written Jan 9, 2013. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-our-fingers-and-toes-wrinkle-during-a-bath/

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