The skin assists with thermoregulation by using sweat to cool down the body or by running more blood through surface capillaries and giving off heat through convection.
The skin protects the body from UV radiation, heat, poor environmental conditions, etc. It does so through melanocytes and keratinocytes.
The skin is a nonspecific barrier to pathogens in the immune system. It is part of innate immunity because it doesn't adapt to different pathogens. It just serves as a physical barrier for pathogen entry.
Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin photochemically, specifically in the innermost strata of the epithelium.
Water and salt are excreted through the skin to maintain homeostatic conditions in the body. Salt is excreted and water follows osmotically during sweating.
Surface capillaries run near the surface of the skin and can be dilated when heat needs to be given off. This results in more blood flowing through and greater convection, allowing loss of heat to the environment. When dilated, the capillaries serve as a reservoir of blood in case of circulatory stress from exercise or hemorrhage.
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