Function of the Integumentary System

Ashworth College Wk2 Integumentary Functions Discussion
Ashworth College

Question Description
Guided Response: Respond to two peers. Each peer response should be at least 100 words in length and supported by one scholarly source. In each reply, choose one of the integumentary functions discussed by your peer and explain how this function aids in the prevention or healing of a specific skin condition. Please choose a different function and skin condition for each peer reply.

Remember, you need to discuss and explain your responses. A list is not enough

Mine-Function of the Integumentary System

The skin is considered the largest organ of the body (Young etal., 2014). It is the external surface of the body and thus protects from several external threats, such as mechanical, water, biological, and chemical insults (Young etal., 2014). Skin is significant in thermoregulation as it can adjust the blood circulation and the process of heat conservation and heat loss (Young etal., 2014). Lastly, as the largest sensory organ, it contains several receptors specific for pressure, touch, temperature, and pain sensations(Young etal., 2014).

Location, composition, and special features of the three layers of skin

The skin is composed of three main layers, namely, epidermis, dermis, and subcutis, also known as hypodermis or panniculus (Young et al., 2014). The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin, made up of continuous proliferating stratified squamous epithelium, melanocytes, and Langerhans cells (Young et al., 2014). Devoid of blood vessels and nerve cells; it provides a non-living surface layer of the protein “keratin” that is being shed constantly (Young et al., 2014). Additionally, it provides supplemental resistance to frictional shearing force through rete ridges (Young et al., 2014). The next layer is the dermis, which is composed of fibrous and fibro adipose tissue that supports the epidermis’ physical and metabolical processes (Young et al., 2014). This layer is packed with blood vessels, nerves, lymph vessels, sweat glands, oil glands, and sensory receptors (Young et al., 2014). This layer provides protection from elastic forces. Last but not least, hypodermis, which is beneath the dermis, is composed of adipose tissue with accompanying fibrous bands and contains larger blood vessels that are important for the supply and drainage of dermal blood vasculature. Hypodermis serves as a shock absorber and facilitates heat preservation (Young et al., 2014).

Significance of Sweat Glands and Sebaceous Glands

Sebaceous glands are responsible for secreting sebum that waterproofs the surface of the skin and hair shafts (Mescher, 2018). On the other hand, sweat glands, which can be eccrine and apocrine, are essential components of the thermoregulatory system as the sweat released cools down the body temperature(Mescher, 2018).

Eccrine Glands vs Apocrine Glands

Eccrine glands are found throughout the skin and are vital for the thermoregulation process (Mescher, 2018). In contrast, while apocrine and eccrine have similar architecture, apocrine glands have a minimal distribution in the body (Mescher, 2018). These glands, linked to the follicular infundibulum, is responsible for the body’s characteristic odor (Mescher, 2018).


Mercher, A. L.(2018). Junqueira’s Basic Histology: Text and Atlas( 18th Ed.). McGraw-Hill


Young, B., Woodford, P., O’Dowd, G.(2014).Wheater’s Functional Histology:A Text and Color

Atlas( 6th Ed.).Philadelphia, PA.Elsevier Churchill Livingstone


Thomas Lyons

Aug 12, 2020 at 2:24 PM

Discuss a minimum of three functions of the integumentary system.
The integumentary system protects you from an invasion of disease-producing pathogens. The integumentary system helps keep the body from drying out, provides a natural sunscreen, and acts as storage for fatty tissue necessary for energy. Importantly, with the aid of some sunshine, the integumentary system produces vitamin D (needed to help your body utilize phosphorus and calcium for proper bone and tooth formation and growth). Finally, the skin provides sensory input (pleasant and unpleasant sensations involving pressure and temperature, for example) to your brain and helps regulate your body temperature. (Colbert, et al., 2013).

Explain the location, composition, and special features of the three layers of skin.
The integumentary system includes the skin, hair, nails and all associated glands, so essentially it is located around your whole body. The three layers of skin are the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fascia, or the hypodermis layer. The epidermis is the visible skin we see and is made up of smaller layers of stratified squamous epithelium. The epidermis contains no nerve cells and the cells on the epidermis layer constantly shed and are replaced by new cells. The dermis is the layer right below the epidermis. This layer contains blood vessels, elastic fibers, involuntary muscles, nerve endings, lymph vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands (Sudoriferous), and oil glands (Sebaceous). (Colbert, et al., 2013). The primary function of the dermis is to cushion the body from stress and strain, and to also provide: elasticity to the skin, a sense of touch, and heat. (Libretexts, 2020). The hypodermis, or subcutaneous fascia is the innermost layer of skin. The hypodermis is composed of fat cells, blood vessels, sebaceous glands, nerve endings and the hair follicle roots. It’s also made up of fat and connective tissues, that house larger blood vessels and nerves, and it acts as an insulator to help regulate body temperature. (Brannon, 2020).

Explain the importance of the function of sweat and sebaceous glands and the difference between apocrine and eccrine glands.
The Sudoriferous gland (sweat) can be apocrine, such as those found in the armpits and the groin area, to help contribute to body odor (along with the bacteria on our skin). The eccrine glands, which are found all over the body, help regulate our body temperature through the process of evaporation. The sebaceous glands found in the dermis secrete a substance called sebum that helps to lubricate and protect our skin from drying out. (Libretexts, 2020).


Brannon, H. L. (n.d.). This Layer of Skin Is Key for Protecting and Insulating the Body. from…

Colbert, B. J., Ankney, J., & Lee. K. T. (2013). Anatomy, physiology, & disease: An interactive journey for health professionals(2nd ed.). Boston: MA. Pearson Education.

Libretexts. (2020, July 14). 5.1C: Structure of the Skin: Dermis. from…


Dakota James

Aug 12, 2020 at 7:02 PM

The three functions of the integumentary system are to protect the body, retain bodily fluids, and prevent diseases.

Our integumentary system contains three layers of skin. The first layer of skin is the epidermis, or the layer of skin we see on each other. This layer of skin is avascular and contains no nerve cells and continually sheds and replaces itself (Colbert et al., 2013). The next layer of skin is the dermis; located directly below our outermost layer of skin. The dermis consists of dense, irregular connective tissues that contain blood vessels, nerve endings, hair follicles and much more (Colbert et al., 2013). The final layer of skin is known as subcutaneous fascia, or the hypodermis, and is the innermost layer of skin on the human body. This layer of skin contains fat cells that provide padding to protect inner organs, energy storage, and provides insulation to assist with body temperature regulation (Colbert et al., 2013).

The location of each layer of skin is as follows: Firstly, the outermost layer of skin is the epidermis. Our middle layer of skin is the dermis. Finally, the innermost layer of skin is the hypodermis.

The composition (or make up) of each layer of skin includes: Melanocytes and keratin filled stratum corneum for the epidermis. Capillaries, collagenous and elastic fibers, muscles, nerve endings, lymph vessels, hair follicles, sweat and oil glands within the dermis (Colbert et al., 2013). Lipocytes make up our innermost layer of skin, the hypodermis.

The special features of each of the three layers of skin include: The regeneration of skin cells in the epidermis caused by the stratum basale; additionally pigmentation of skin through melanocytes and carotene are featured in this layer (Colbert et al., 2013). The dermis contains the vital parts of the integumentary system that allow blood flow, movement, hair growth, sweat and oil glands, as well as the ability to grow hair (Colbert et al., 2013). The hypodermis provides protection for organs, stores energy, and regulates body temperature.

The function of sweat and sebaceous glands is very important because they serve a thermoregulatory function via evaporative heat loss in an attempt to regulate body temperature (Hodge, 2019).

The apocrine and eccrine glands are different in that eccrine glands serve as the primary regulator of body temperature while apocrine sweat glands are brought on through puberty.


Hodge, B. (2019, April 05). Anatomy, Skin Sweat Glands. Retrieved August 12, 2020, from