Updated: Nov 19, 2019
We often take our skin for granted. It usually heals itself without our thought. A sunburn turns brown, a scratch scabs over. Our skin is creating and shedding cells all day, every day. Our skin is considered the largest organ of the body. And yet, we often hardly think about it. It serves us in three main ways.
Protection without our skin we would be exposed to germs and dirt that could get into our systems and cause us to get sick. We can tolerate germs on us because our skin protects the rest of us. So we don’t have to worry when we stick our hand in garbage or pick up the dog poop. Our skin keeps all those germs outside.
Regulation is vital for our survival. The skin allows us to release heat through sweating so we don’t overheat internally. And it keeps our water inside our bodies so we remain hydrated. And it keeps us insulated. We could not maintain our temperature without skin.
And finally, it provides us with sensation. Life without feeling our skin would be a poorer life. People with leprosy lose fingers and toes because they are unable to feel their skin and therefore, are unable to tell when they have been injured. Small injuries become large infections. And frankly, there is almost nothing better than being touched. We crave touching and require it in order to live. When my dad worked at an orphanage in Africa, some orphans would start to dwindle from lack of touch. He would require these babies to be carried around all day just to give them enough touch to thrive.
So, hey, let’s not take our skin for granted. Let’s care for it and nourish it. It keeps us alive and gives us pleasure. What could be better than that?