Integumentary System


Theintegumentary system is the body organ system that shields the bodyfrom different types of damage like loss of water, and scrape fromexternal environment. The integumentary system comprises of the skinand its accessories including scales, hair, hooves, feathers andnails. This system has different functions such as waterproofing,cushioning and protecting the inner tissues. It also serves as aroute for excretion of wastes, regulating the body temperature and isan attachment site for sensory nerves to detect pressure, pain,sensation and temperature. In some global vertebrates which areexposed to sunlight, the integumentary system is a site for thesynthesis of vitamin D.

Theskin is the largest part of the human body accounting for more than12 percent of the total body mass. The skin has three major layerswhich include the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. These layers havedifferent functions (Montagna, 2012). The epidermis is the outerlayer of the skin and in some areas it is very thin like on theeyelids and in some parts its thick like on the palm of the hand. Thefunctions include making new skin cells, protecting the body and givethe skin its color.

Thedermis is the layer of skin just immediate after the epidermis. Itsfunction include production of sweat which passes through small tubesand comes out of skin pores making the body cool as well as gettingrid of some waste. The dermis also helps a person feel things thatone may come into touch with as it contains nerves that passessignals into the brain for interpretation. It is also the part atwhich hair roots originate. Hair helps protect the skin and regulatethe temperature of the body (Montagna, 2012). The dermis makes oilthat nourishes the skin and also feeds the skin with blood since itcontains blood vessels.

Belowthe dermis is a layer of loose connective tissues called thehypodermis or subcutaneous tissue. It serves as the connectionbetween the underlying muscles, bones, and the skin as well asstorage of fat. The layer contains areola connective tissue withelastin and collagen fibers freely arranged to allow the outer skinto stretch and move autonomously of its underlying structures(Montagna, 2012). Energy is also stored in the fatty adipose tissueof the hypodermis. Adipose tissues also help trap heat originatingfrom within the body, hence keeping the body warm.

Chickenpox is a viral disease that causes an itchy-like rash. It is causedby the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It is highly contagious toindividuals who have not had it before or have not been immunizedagainst it. Chicken pox infection normally lasts for five to tendays. The rush is a clear indication of chicken pox (James, Berger &ampElston, 2015). Within a day or two of the infection, one mayexperience fever, headache, loss of appetite and malaise. Chicken poxrash has three stages the red or pink raised bumps, fluid filledblisters and crust and scabs. The disease is highly infectiousthrough physical contact.

Chickenpoxis generally diagnosed based on the telltale rash. However if thereis doubt, it can be confirmed through laboratory tests including aculture of lesion or blood tests. Chickenpox needs no medicaltreatment especially in healthy children (Rossi, Graziano &ampCavazza, 2014). Antihistamine may however be prescribed by a doctorto relieve itching. Most part of chickenpox is left to take itscourse. Itchy and rashes are two terms common with chickenpox. Rashestake different forms in three stages and itchiness is a feeling ofdiscomfort on the skin.


James,W. D., Berger, T., &amp Elston, D. (2015). Andrews`diseases of the skin: clinical dermatology.Elsevier Health Sciences.

Montagna,W. (2012). TheStructure and Function of Skin 3E.Elsevier.

Rossi,G., Graziano, P., &amp Cavazza, A. (2014). Chickenpox in UnexplainedPulmonary Necrotizing Granulomas. CHESTJournal,145(2),433-434.