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INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEM. Skin, hair, nails, and glands. What does it mean?. Integere (Latin)- “to cover” Dermato and cutis (Greek and Latin)- “skin” Epi - (Greek)- “upon” or “above”. Why do we need it? overview. Largest organ Retains moisture Sensory receptors for: pain, Heat Touch .

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integumentary system


Skin, hair, nails, and glands

what does it mean
What does it mean?
  • Integere (Latin)- “to cover”
  • Dermato and cutis (Greek and Latin)- “skin”
  • Epi- (Greek)- “upon” or “above”
why do we need it overview
Why do we need it? overview
  • Largest organ
  • Retains moisture
  • Sensory receptors for:
    • pain,
    • Heat
    • Touch
  • Excretes salts
  • Excretes small amounts of waste
  • Stores blood
  • Regulates body temp.

2 main parts

    • Epidermis and dermis
  • Under the dermis is the hypodermis (supericial fascia- subcutaneous tissue)
    • It acts a foundation not truly part of the skin
  • Surface skin
    • 1st line of defense against infection
    • Contains no blood vessels
    • Layers and layers of epithelial cells


    • ¼ of stratum basale is made of these
    • Synthesize a pale yellow to black pigment called melanin
    • Cytocrine secretion- melanin is secreted into keratinocytes
  • Melanin- skin color and protection against uv rays
  • Keratinocytes
    • majority of stratum basale
    • Primary epithelial cell of skin
more about the epidermis
More about the epidermis
  • Carotene- in stratum corneum and fatty layers beneath the skin
    • Produces yellowish hue common with Asian ancestry
  • Hemoglobin- cause for pinkish color of Caucasian skin
    • Less melanin, more hemoglobin
  • Albinos- no melanin in skin at all
  • Ridges and grooves- increase friction to grasp other objects
    • Ex. Loops and whorls (fingerprints, palm prints, footprints)
the dermis
The Dermis
  • Also known as the corium
  • Thicker and more fibrous than the dermis
  • 2 layers
  • Fibrolasts- connective tissue develops
  • Macrophages- engulf wastes and foreign microorganisms
  • Adipose tissue
  • Thinnest over eyelids and male sex organs
  • Thicker on back than stomach
  • Thickest on palms of hands and soles of feet
papillary layer
Papillary Layer
  • Top (outer) layer
  • Soft
  • Elastic, reticular fibers that enter the epidermis
    • Brings blood and nerve endings closer
  • Papillae are finger-like projections- loops of capillaries to increase the surface area of dermis and anchor epidermis
  • Meissner’s corpuscles- nerve endings sensitive to soft touch.
    • In some papillae
reticular layer
Reticular Layer
  • Rete- net (Latin)
  • Dense, irregular connective tissue
    • Interlacing bundles of collagenous and elastic fibers
      • Strong resistant layer
      • Gives skin strength, extensibility, ad elasticity
  • Oil glands (seaceous glands), sweat glands, fat cells, and larger blood vessels are in this layer
  • Follicles embedded in the epidermis and extend to the dermis angle hair growth (curly or straight).
  • Follicle bases are expanded (called bulbs) reach nerve endings
  • Epithelial cells in the bulb divide to create the hair shaft
  • Hair pigment: melanin
    • Gives hair its color
    • Gray and white hair grow when melanin levels decrease and air pockets form
  • sebaceous gland- sebum is produced (cholesterol, fats, and other substances)
    • Keeps hair soft, pliable, and waterproof

Hair has 3 layers

    • Medulla
      • Central core
      • Cells contain eleidin separated by air spaces
      • Fine hair- minimal/ nonexistent
    • Cortex
      • Major part of hair shaft
        • Several layers
        • Flattened cells
      • Elongated pigment-bearing cells in dark hair
      • Air pockets in white hair
    • Cuticle
      • Single layer, overlapping cells with free end pointing up
      • Strengthens and compacts the inner layers
      • Split ends
        • Abrasion wears away the end of the shaft, exposes the medulla and cortex to create the horrid split end
sweat gross or is it
Sweat? Gross…or is it?
  • 2 types of sweat glands (sudoriferous)
    • Coiled tubules in the dermis
    • Eccrine glands-all over body
      • Watery (99%), salty secretion known as sweat
      • Passes through the epidermis to skin’s surface and opens to a sweat pore
      • Controlled by the sympathetic nervous system
    • Apocrine sweat glands
      • Under the armpits and groin area, associated with hair follicles
      • Same components as eccrine and is odorless
        • Bacteria breaks down apocrine sweat’s fatty acids and proteins
          • Creates the odor accompanying post exercise
connection to the nervous system
Connection to the Nervous System
  • 4 receptors are involved in the sensation of touch
  • 2 primary temperature receptors
  • Dermis has neuromuscular spindles (proprioceptors)
    • Transmit information to the spinal cord and brain about the lengths and tensions of muscles
      • Provides awareness about the body’s position
    • Spindles help in muscle coordination and muscle action efficiency


  • Free nerve endings- dendrites are primarily pain receptors
    • Sometimes touch, temperature, and muscles
    • Fibers swell at the end in response
    • Disc-shaped (merkel discs) endings- light-touch receptors in deep layers of epidermis
  • Meissner’s corpuscles- light-touch mechanoreceptors in dermal papillae
    • Egg-shaped capsules of connective tissue around a spiraled end of a dendrite
    • Great amounts in lips and fingertips
    • Sense quick touch, not sustained

Pacinian corpuscles- deep-pressure mechanoreceptor

    • Dendrites surrounded by layers of connective tissue
    • Respond to deep/firm pressure or vibration
    • Visible to the naked eye- 2 millimeters long
  • Hair nerve endings
    • Respond to change in hair position
    • Bare dendrites


  • End-bulbs of Krause (Krause’s corpuscles)
    • Activate below 68 degrees F
    • Bulbous capsule surrounds the dendrite
    • Commonly found throughout the body in the dermis and lips, tongue, and conjunctiva of the eyes
  • Brushes of Ruffini (Ruffini cylinders/Ruffini’s Corpuscles)
    • Respond between 77 degrees and 113 degrees F
    • Found in dermis and subcutaneous tissue
    • Dendrite endings in flattened capsules
    • There are less then end-bulbs and are deeper in the tissue
      • Human body is less sensitive to heat than to cold