Interesting things about your skin and the human body!

You’re sitting at home watching the television and up pops Jeopardy. You know, this question and answer show has been on forever. It’s still got the same cast of characters. So you settle back in your easy chair for the next 30 minutes to test your knowledge.

Up pop the categories one-by-one and there it is…..The Human Body.

The first contestant dives right in and goes for “The Human Body for $200”. And the answer is “the largest organ on the human body”. A deafening silence puts the audience on pins and needles and then someone buzzes in with the question…..

“What is the skin?”  Correct!

What’s the largest organ on the human body?

Your skin! Did you really know that?

But do most people really know your skin has many different jobs. Like it weighs between six to nine pounds and covers nearly two square yards of space. But that’s not all your skin has to offer.

How about this? Your skin is the number one line of defense in your sensation of hot and cold. There are millions of nerve endings in your skin that transmit data to your brain for you to decipher. Your sense of touch is all directly related to your skin.

Have you ever heard of bacteria and infection?

Skin diagram

Skin diagram

Your skin also has the job of providing protection against both of those bad boys. The skin acts as a thermostat for  body temperature. When you’re running a temperature or having flu like symptoms chances are something has gone a foul with your outer layer of protection, the skin.

It’s no wonder the skin care industry is so massive.  With all the different varieties of skin conditions people have there’s an endless opportunity for companies to provide skin care treatments as the solutions to those problems.

How about the Human Body for $150?

And the answer is “the outer most layer of the skin on the Human Body.”

And the answer is “what is the epidermis?”

Take a look down at your feet or hands. You’re looking at the epidermis. Remember those scrapes you got when falling off your bike. Chances are you injured the epidermis. It’s hard at work 24/7 even while we sleep. It continually regenerates new cells which make the long trip to the surface of your skin. This trip takes anywhere from two weeks to two months?

Have you ever wondered where the dead skin cells are? Take a look at your skin, it’s loaded with them.  When you shower or bath and wash your skin with the washcloth, you’re helping the new skin cells finish their journey by removing the dead skin cells from your body.  In skin care terms, you’ve just exfoliated your skin, although you may not really know it!

The epidermis is also the home to your sweat glands otherwise known as your pores. Did you know that we sweat all the time and that sweat exits through the pores?

Hey, let’s try “the Human Body for $100”.

The answer is “the layer directly under the Epidermis on the Human Body”.

The answer is “what is the dermis?”

Well, if you want to see your dermis, it could be a painful experience. You see, it’s the layer directly under the epidermis and contains all the nerve endings, blood vessels, oil glands, and sweat glands. The dermis also is home to two tough and stretchy guys called collagen and elastin.

diagram of the skin

diagram of the skin – dermis

So, if you really want to look at the dermis, you’re going to have to make an incision…not a good idea. But, it’s one we all experience in our lifetime. Your nerve endings will send you the message that the dermis is open for viewing. You may also see a bit of red fluid coming from it, otherwise referred to as your blood because you’ve cut yourself.

So now we know our sense of touch is related to the dermis. It’s the proud owner of tons of blood vessels. These blood vessels have two important jobs. First, they deliver oxygen and nutrients to the skin to keep it healthy. Second, they can also act as a garbage truck by hauling away waste.

Now, here’s a less painful way to check out the dermis. Pay a visit to grandma and grandpa and take a look at their skin. As we age, our skin gets a bit thinner and translucent so you can actually get a picture of the dermis from older people.

The dermis is also responsible for keeping your skin lubricated and moist because it houses the oil glands. The sebaceous glands manufacture the skin’s own oil which not only lubricates it but also keeps it from absorbing too much water.  The oil your skin produces is called sebum.

Any idea what the third layer of your skin is?

That would be the subcutaneous fat. It’s a protective layer of fat that acts as a shock absorber for the human body.  It also provides warmth to our bodies.

Makes you kind of wonder how much subcutaneous fat do bears have when they hibernate?

The subcutaneous fat is also the garden which sprouts your hair follicles. The roots are embedded in the subcutaneous fat and each hair follicle sprouts up right through the dermis and out the epidermis until its visible to the human eye.

Did you know some people have over 100,000 hair follicles on their heads alone?

What makes your hair shine?

Other articles about your skin that you might enjoy!

References:

human body.

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What is discoid dermatitis or nummular eczema?

discoid dermatitisIn this article we are going to look at discoid eczema which can also be referred to as nummular eczema, or nummular dermatitis. You’ll be able to reference what is eczema, what causes discoid dermatitis, what the symptoms of discoid dermatitis are, how to diagnose it, and how to treat discoid dermatitis.

This non-contagious problem is an inflammation of the skin that manifests itself in the form of a rash. Generally affecting the lower extremities but mostly the lower legs, hands, and forearms, discoid dermatitis can work its way to other areas of the human body.

The rash can be extremely itchy and uncomfortable as evidenced by the red coin shaped sores that accompany it. The round or oval plaques, made of tiny raised red spots and scaling on a red base, have well defined edges.  The sores can either be raised or have well defined edges and grow to be a few millimeters or a few centimeters in size. This can be a long term problem or one that rears its head on an ongoing basis.

Individuals with discoid or nummular exema have the capacity to develop additional secondary skin infections or other forms of dermatitis.

The main reason the term nummular is used in this type of exzema is because the sores tend to be round or coin like, with the Latin term nummus referring to being coin like.

What causes discoid dermatitis?

While its exact cause is not known, discoid eczema has been linked to allergies. It can be triggered by insect bite, other skin problems, interferon treatment the Hepatitus virus.

Discoid dermatitis symptoms?

Symptoms of discoid eczema are more frequently reported to doctors during the winter months, when indoor humidity levels are lower.

Although discoid eczema symptoms can occur at any age, they are more commonly seen in males in their 60s and 70s.

There is also a lesser peak during the teen years to mid 20s. Discoid eczema is extremely rare in children.

Diagnosing discoid dermatitis

Your doctor should be able to observe the signs and symptoms of the problem to make an accurate diagnosis. In some extreme case, you could be referred to a dermatologist or skin specialist.

Usually, the doctor will take some samples of any lesions for analysis. This is done to check for any tinea. Ringworm has a tendency to present itself with similar signs to discoid dermatitis. There is always the possibility for secondary infections given any open sores or lesions, usually, the physician will swab for this.

Normally, there are no biopsies required.

How is discoid dermatitis treated?

The good news is that using proper treatment, nummular dermatitis is easily eradicated. Please be aware, that if your skin lesions exist on the lower extremities such as the legs, it could take longer to heal and you may have scars. The treatment plan for nummular eczema consists of:

Further injury to the skin must be avoided

The skin must be kept hydrated. Taking luke warm baths or showers once a day and the applying a moisturizer to the skin while it is still damp will help alleviate the problem. Bath oil is also a good alternative.

Any over-the-counter medications should be followed as directed. Follow physicians instructions on any prescribed medications.

Here are some other articles about eczema you may enjoy reading:

References:

 

 

What is calcium?

You’ve heard about it since you were a youngster. All the milk ads are load with comments about calcium. But do you really know what it is?

It’s a mineral that can be found in tons of foods but is has multiple functions.  Virtually all the calcium in the body is stored in your teeth and bones. Why, structure and foundation! We’ve heard all the conversation about “calcium building strong bodies and calcium for bones!”

Calcium uses in the human body

Did you realize that calcium is needed by the human body to help your muscle movement? Your nerves require it to help transport messages to the brain so it can communicate with other parts of the body.

It also plays a very important role in the human body’s transportation system, the blood vessels. It plays an integral in the movement of blood through the blood vessels (veins, arteries, and capillaries) and to facilitate the release of hormones and enzymes which play an important role in all aspects of the human body. It’s also essential to bone health, cardiovascular health, muscle maintenance, circulatory health, and blood clotting.

Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, is found in some foods, added to others, available as

Foods containing calcium

Foods containing calcium

a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as antacids). It is required for vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion, though less than 1% of total body calcium is needed to support these critical metabolic functions

Calcium foods

Foods are a major source of calcium and they come in some of everyone’s favorite foods. Some of these include:

  1. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are the primary food sources of calcium
  2. Calcium rich vegetables include kale, broccoli, and chinese cabbage
  3. Fish having soft bones like canned sardines and salmon
  4. Grains (like breads, pastas, and unfortified cereals), even though they aren’t loaded with calcium can help to add enough calcium to the diet because of the quantity they are consumed.
  5. How about breakfast cereals? Breakfast cereals, fruit juices, soy and rice beverages, and tofu all have it.
  6. Here are some other calcium foods and vegetables with calcium: almonds, blackstrap molasses, broccoli, enriched soy and rice milk products, figs, and soybeans.

What are the best calcium supplements?

If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet you must turn to calcium supplements. Calcium carbonate is the most common supplement and needs to be taken with food. Why? Because the only way the human body can break down calcium so it can be used in the body is through using hydrochloric acid which your stomach releases during the digestive process.

Many individuals opt to take another form of calcium supplement referred to as calcium chelate. This supplement is already to bound with an acid and can be consumed at any time of the day.

There are also other dietary supplements which provide only calcium or calcium with other nutrients like vitamin D.

You’re probably familiar with a couple highly recognized calcium dietary supplements called carbonate and citrate. If you’ve had acid reflux or acid indigestion you’ve taken calcium carbonate in Tums and Rolaids.

Calcium citrate is commonly suggested for people over age 50 and is absorbed well on an empty or a full stomach. The main reason for this is low levels of stomach acid which happens to be a common problems for people older than 50. Plus, older people absorb calcium citrate more easily than calcium carbonate.

But here are some additional types of calcium in supplements and fortified foods including  gluconate, lactate, and phosphate.

So what happens if I don’t get the daily recommended dose of calcium?

Initially, you won’t realize that a calcium deficiency is occurring. But gradually, calcium below recommended levels create health problems like low bone mass (osteopenia) and increasing the risks of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

If you’ve got these symptoms, you should immediately contact your physician: numbness and tingling in the fingers, convulsions, and abnormal heart rhythms that can lead to death if not corrected.

calcium

There’s been quite a bit of conversation at the dinner table regarding gluten. But, what exactly is gluten and how does it affect our lives?

If you’ve ever eaten some dry cereal then you’ve most likely consumed some gluten.

Let’s define gluten!

Hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic syndromeIt’s a byproduct of a variety of proteins and is usually found in wheat, barley, rye and other grains. Gluten is used to add substance chewiness to baked goods. If you’ve had problems with runny foods, you’ve most likely used gluten as a binder. But gluten has other uses such as adding additional flavor as well as providing additional protein.

So what’s the fuss about gluten?

It is possible for an individual to develop an allergic reaction to products containing gluten. Much the

same as peanut allergies and other food allergies, steps have been taken to alleviate these gluten symptoms by developing gluten free diets to prevent catastrophic problems to the human body.

What Foods Have Gluten?

Are you a person that likes a bowl of soup in the cold of winter?

If so, you only need to check the label to find out if your soup contains gluten. How about that Thanksgiving or Christmas Day turkey gravy, they too contain gluten. French fries go hand-in-hand with ketchup but so does gluten.

I guess you’re getting the picture about what types of food gluten plays a role in. But, here are more common examples: vinegar, salad dressings, marinades, bouillon, spices, coffees, dairy products, and liquors.

So what has gluten in it from the cereal family, look at these grains which contain gluten: durum, spelt gluten, einkorn, farro, graham, kamut, and semolina.

What’s interesting about gluten in foods is that it’s included in some of the many popular and well publicized food varieties. However, because of its ability to enhance foods in a variety of ways, gluten can also be included in a variety of other foods that are not as obvious.

Did you know that gluten is a protein supplement?

Vegan and vegetarian diets employ gluten supplements to maintain the necessary amount of protein the human body needs. Additionally, imitation meats or wheat meats, such as seitan, many times are manufactures with concentrated gluten.

What are the four Gluten Proteins?

There are four major proteins associated with gluten, two are found in wheat and two are found in corn and rice. Glutelins and prolamins are found in wheat and albumins and globulins are found in corn and rice.

While gluten and wheat seem to be linked together, those proteins are more prevalent with regard to health related problems such as celiac disease. Glutelins are the proteins which cause the most problems. These are dangerous because of the manner in which the human body acids break them down. They’re primarily responsible for gluten intolerance.

Approximately 80% of the protein in wheat is comprised of prolamin called gliadin and the glutelin called glutenin. As these molecules are bound by chemical reaction, they begin to stretch and harden. Once this process begins, the dough develops a light, airy loaf which can be described as chewy. The end result is many of these proteins are commonly found in flour and other baking products.