The human body comprises several systems that work together to keep us alive and healthy. These systems include the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the digestive system, the urinary system, the nervous system, and the endocrine system. Each of these systems has a specific function vital to our overall health.
Although arguably, all systems play a significant role in keeping people alive and healthy, some systems have a more fundamental role no matter the circumstance. For example, one particular system that has been known to play a significant role in protecting and containing other body systems is the integumentary system.
What is the Integumentary System?
The integumentary system tends to be the most overlooked system of the human body. Unfortunately, it also tends to be taken for granted by most people.
It’s made up of the skin, hair, nails, and glands. It also has several functions. One function protects the body from environmental hazards such as UV rays, bacteria, and chemicals. It also helps regulate body temperature and eliminates waste through sweating. In addition, the integumentary system provides sensory information to the brain, such as pressure, pain, and temperature.
The integumentary system is vital to our survival because it acts as a barrier between us and the outside world. It protects us from harmful substances and helps regulate our internal environment. Without it, we would be susceptible to infection and disease. However, because of its purpose, it’s also the most compromised system in the body.
The Integumentary System and Germs
One of the biggest threats to the integumentary system is bacteria. Bacteria are tiny microorganisms that can cause infections and disease. They’re everywhere – on our skin, air, and surfaces. While some bacteria are harmless, others can be dangerous.
Bacteria can enter the body through cuts, scratches, or other breaks in the skin. Once they’re inside, they can multiply and cause an infection. Infections can range from mild to severe and even life-threatening. That’s why it’s vital to clean wounds immediately and keep them clean until they heal.
Viruses can also be transmitted into people’s bodies through the integumentary system. For example, the recent COVID-19 virus can survive on people’s skin for over nine hours unless washed off or disinfected. After that, it can enter people’s bodies through their eyes, nose, or mouth.
So how can you protect yourself and your integumentary system from bacteria and viruses? The best way is to practice good hygiene. This means washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face, and keeping your skin clean and dry. You should also avoid sharing personal items such as towels, razors, and clothing with others. If you have a cut or scrape, clean it right away and cover it with a bandage.
How to Take Care of Your Integumentary System
Just like any other system in the body, the integumentary system needs to be taken care of to function at its best. You can do several things to keep your skin, hair, nails, and glands healthy.
Practicing Good Skincare Habits
One of the best ways to take care of your skin is to practice good skincare habits. This means washing your face and body regularly, using sunscreen outdoors, and avoiding harsh chemicals and abrasive scrubbers. You should also avoid picking at or scratching your skin, which can cause irritation and infection.
Taking Care of Your Hair
Another vital part of taking care of your integumentary system is taking care of your hair. This means shampooing and conditioning it regularly, using a heat protectant when you style it and avoiding excessive use of styling products. You should also avoid pulling on your hair or using tight hairstyles that can cause stress on the scalp.
If you’re experiencing some severe hair loss (which is typical for women who’ve reached a much older age), then you’re going to need some professional help. Thankfully, there are many women’s hair clinics that can help you out. These clinics can provide you with a variety of treatments, such as hair transplants, to help restore your hair.
Taking Care of Your Nails
Just like your hair and skin, your nails need to be taken care of in order to stay healthy. This means keeping them clean and free of dirt and bacteria and avoiding the use of harsh chemicals or nail polish removers. You should also avoid biting your nails, which can cause them to become weak and brittle.
If you have trouble keeping your nails clean, you can try using a nail brush or a homemade scrub made from sugar and lemon juice. You can also buy special nail polishes that help strengthen your nails and prevent them from breaking.
So, there you have it – a brief overview of the integumentary system and how to take care of it. By practicing good hygiene habits and taking care of your skin, hair, and nails, you can help keep your integumentary system healthy and functioning at its best.