The integumentary system consists of your hair, nails and skin, and is the body’s largest organ system. This physical system is very fascinating and conducts a number of functions and processes for the body. One of the main purposes of the integumentary system is to make the body waterproof with the assistance of keratinzed cells. The system also shields the body from water loss and protects the internal organs from sickness and harmful substances. The integumentary system is considered the body’s first line of defense. It not only protects the way that organs function, but regulates the body’s temperature, detects pain, excretes toxins and plays a pivotal role in the synthesis of vitamin D.
Alopecia Areata – This is an autoimmune disorder that is not contagious, where your hair follicles are attacked by your immune system. Hair loss occurs on various parts of the body, particularly the head, which is why many people with this condition are bald. This is also called spot baldness, since small patches of hair disappear from the head in the first stages of the condition.
Dermatitis – Dermatitis is defined as inflamed skin. There are various forms of dermatitis, including seborrheic dermatitis and atopic dermatitis, also called eczema. Dermatitis can occur for several reasons, and will flare up in a number of ways, including an rash that itches in the initial stages as the dermatitis spreads, increasing in swelling and redness. Dermatitis is not fatal or contagious, but it does make one feel considerably self-conscious.
Psoriasis – Psoriasis is another chronic integumentary disease that isn’t contagious, but affects the autoimmune system. Scaly, red patches appear on the skin. These are called psoriatic plaques and are areas of the skin where increased cell production has occurred.
Warts – This disease is characterized by round, rough, scaly tumors formed on the feet or hands. Warts are a result of the human papilloma virus, and people can experience a variety of warts including flat, plantar, genital, mosaic and common. Warts can be contagious and are spread through physical human contact. The blister resembles the shape and consistency of a cauliflower.
Athlete’s Foot – Athlete’s foot, or tenia pedis, is a fungal infection that affects the feet and results in itching, flaking, and scaly skin. If you want to be barefoot in areas that are moist such as public showers, this increases your chances for contracting athlete’s foot. The infection can also spread to other areas, like the groin. Proper hygiene can prevent athlete’s foot.
In addition to the conditions mentioned above, there are several other integumentary system diseases like acne, herpes, blisters, albinism, basic cell carcinoma, melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and other human skin cancers. This makes the skin surprisingly harmful to the body if not cared for properly.