The largest organ system of our body is the integumentary system. It is comprised of human skin, nails, and hair. It is an amazing system we have that has so many interesting purposes and functions. Of these functions is its ability to waterproof the body. It does this through the assistance of the outer layer of keratinized and dead cells on our skin. Another function is to protect our body from losing water. It also aids our inner organs, protecting them from infections and germs which may attack our system. In all, this system is seen as our first line of defense for the body. The integumentary system does a lot more than that though. Aside from protecting the organs, it can sense pain, regulate temperature, excretes toxins, and plays a major part in helping to synthesize vitamin D.
Alopecia Areata – Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder which is not contagious. What occurs here is that the immune system starts to attack the hair follicles. This can cause the loss of hair to some or all bodily regions. It usually affects the scalp which can result in baldness. Because the initial stages of this disease creates bald spots on the scalp, it is also called spot baldness.
Dermatitis – Inflammation of the skin has been generalized by the term dermatitis. Dermatitis can come in different forms such as seborrheic dermatitis, or atopic dermatitis (eczema). There are a variety of reasons for this disorder to appear. It can also appear in various forms such as starting out as an itchy rash which then spreads. This could then increase with swelling and redness. While this skin disorder is by no means life threatening or contagious to others, it can still make the sufferer feel very uncomfortable.
Psoriasis – Psorisasis is another chronic disease of the integumentary system. It’s an autoimmune disease which is not contagious. What we see are scaly red patches on the skin. Sometimes lesions may form as well. The scaly patches are referred to as psoriatic plaques. What they are is an increase in skin production with areas of inflammation.
Warts – Warts are small, round, rough feeling tumors that generally appear on the hands and feet. It too is a disease of the integumentary system. The human papilloma virus is the cause for warts. There are also different types of warts that can appear such as the flat wart, common wart, genital wart, plantar wart, and mosaic wart. These are contagious and are shown to spread through contact from one person to another. They are said to look like a cauliflower or a solid blister that appears on the skin.
Athletes Foot – Tinea pedis, also known as Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection found on the skin. It’s symptoms are flaky, itchy and scaly skin that can appear in various areas. It is a condition that is found to be transmitted by walking barefoot in moist areas such as showers, pools, and bath houses. While the condition is known for affecting the feet mainly, it can also spread to other areas of the body like the groin. Athlete’s foot can be prevented by simply keeping up a good hygienic routine.
Aside from the diseases that have been pointed out so far, there are many other integumentary system ailments. Some of these are acne, herpes, squamous cell carcinoma, albinism, blisters, basil cell carcinoma, melanoma, and a few other types of skin cancers that people can be affected with. It can be very detrimental to our health when the largest organ of our body becomes damaged.