Skin is the outermost covering of the body. Like the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys, the skin is also classified as an organ. In fact, it is the largest organ of the body. But, there are some interesting facts about skin, which you must know. You’ll be impressed. And then, there are facts about skin cancer and other skin problems that you may want to know.
It is what gives you an appearance. You can be fair or dark, or your skin can be smooth or wrinkled.
Whatever its type, it performs important functions. Besides its other functions, it provides protection against mechanical, thermal, and physical harm. If damaged, it can regenerate itself.
We look at our skin several times during the day, but there are some interesting facts about the skin we do not know and which make interesting reading.
- The skin of an adult weighs about 9 pounds or 4 kilograms.
- It makes up about 16% of the body weight.
- The total surface area of the average adult skin is 22 square feet or 2 square meters.
- The thickness of the skin varies from 0.5mm on your eyelids to 4mm or slightly more on the palms of the hands and soles of your feet.
- An average square inch area of the skin can have up to 600 sweat glands, 20 blood vessels, 60,000 melanocytes (skin cells that produce melanin, which is responsible for skin color), and more than 1000 nerve endings.
- An average adult has 2.6 million sweat glands in his or her skin.
- Men tend to sweat more than women do.
- In conditions of 85 degrees temperature and 40% humidity, an average runner can lose 2 to 4 pounds of sweat in an hour. An Olympic marathon runner finished the race in 2 hours and 14 minutes even though he had lost 8.1% of his body weight through sweat.
- Sweat does not stink. It is odorless. It is the bacteria, which mix with sweat that cause the sweat to stink.
- The thicker the skin, the darker it is, due to more melanocytes in its layers.
- 5 sq cms of the human skin can contain 50 million bacteria.
- Oily skin is more prone to blackheads but less prone to wrinkles and aging signs.
- The skin releases three gallons of sweat in humid hot weather.
- During a 15-minute sauna bath, an average adult excretes about one liter of sweat.
- The white skin is just 20,000 to 50,000 years old when the dark humans migrated to cold climates and lost much of their melanin.
- The skin sheds 50,000 cells per minute, which roughly works out 9 pounds or 4 kilograms of dead cells every year.
- Globally, the dead skin cells account for a billion tonnes of dust in the atmosphere.
- Dead skin cells make up 90% of your house dust.
- Every 24 hours, the skin surface sheds a layer of dead skin cells that are renewed every 28 days.
- The average weight of the skin shed in a lifetime would work out to about 40 kilograms.
Facts on skin cancer
- About 20 percent of Americans develop skin cancer by the time they reach 70 years of age.
- Early detection and treatment of melanoma will increase the life expectancy to 5 years in about 99 percent of the patients.
- More than 2 people die of skin cancer every hour in the United States.
- Increased frequency of sunburns increases your risk of skin cancer. Having suffered 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk.
Facts about skin problems
There are various skin diseases that put the patient through a lot of social problems. These diseases include psoriasis, cystic acne, vitiligo, eczema, albinism, and rosacea.
- You see higher rates of severe depression in people with skin problems.
- School children with skin problems are subject to ridicule and bullying, which makes them withdraw socially, underperform, and refuse to attend school.
- Due to depression, there is a negative impact on family relationships.
- A significant number of adults report reduced or loss of libido.
- Significant loss of interest in recreational activities in these people.