In dialogue with the skin

The structure and needs of the skin.

Prof. Dr. med. Urs Pohlman

 

Urs Pohlman, the foander and developer of the ananné Active ingredient cosmetics, it is important to do something good for the skin in the long term. In this blog post, the expert explains the properties of our skin and how a dermatologist enters into a dialogue with it.

Our largest organ

The skin is the largest organ of the human organism. As a doctor of integrative medicine, I would like to take this into account and have been in close dialogue with the skin for many years.

The skin is not only our largest but also the "most natural" organ, which means we take many things for granted without giving it much thought to its function and performance. The skin “just works”. This also plays into the care of the skin. Like some seemingly obvious things, the skin is often underestimated, almost "overlooked". It forms its surface with around two square meters (for a normal-sized adult) and carries a multitude of vital functions in a compact space.

It forms the outer boundary of the organism, is a sensory organ, serves to regulate temperature and is an important link in the immune system. For the trained eye, so much can be read on the skin that one can almost speak of a window into the interior of the organism. As a practicing doctor, I also analyze the skin of the face during the anamnesis, since emotions (tension) and skin diseases, especially on the face, are closely linked to visible physiological and psychological impulses.

A face can speak volumes

The face itself is a unique region of the body. No living being expresses itself like humans through their faces. The mobility of the face serves to express oneself and to communicate.

It is therefore obvious to pay special attention to the facial skin. It is striking that skin diseases have increased significantly in the population over the past few decades and this correlates with apparently better care in "civilized and wealthy" societies. Some of the reasons for this are already known - for example insufficient sun protection or incorrect care - and could be remedied relatively easily. This requires some behavioral change, comparable to sensitivity to the quality and origin of food, which has already made significant progress in most population groups.

Most behaviors don't require much effort. A lot becomes immediately understandable when you know something about your own skin and its function or simply pay more attention to it in your daily care. So it is only justified that as a consumer you have the right to know what is in the wide range of care products.

Skin type and condition

The skin is an independent organ like the kidneys, heart and lungs. It is a marvel of nature and simply works. In dermatology, a distinction is made between skin type and skin condition, which are influenced by external and internal influences.

The skin is closely correlated with the digestive system: if something is wrong in the margin-intestinal tract, this becomes noticeable and visible, for example, in impure or slightly inflamed skin.

That is why it is important to pay special attention to the skin when caring for it skin type and the Skin condition to analyze and know.

With the skin type the genetic disposition is also referred to taking into account the respective age. When classifying the skin type, we are guided by the amount of the pigment melanin produced individually in the skin. Melanin absorbs UV light and prevents UV light from penetrating into the dermis (=deeper layer of skin).

However, the melanin stored in the skin cannot fully absorb the UV light. The natural protection time is described differently for each skin type.

Type

Skin color

Hair color

eyes

special feature

Natural protection time

Celtic

Very bright

light blond,

reddish

Blue, green, light grey

spreads freckles,

hardly any tanning

< 10 Minuten

Nordic

Hell

Blond,

light brown

Blue green,

grade

often freckles,

slight browning

10-20 minutes

mixed type

medium

Light to dark brown, black

Blue, green, gray, brown, dark

slow tanning,

light brown tones

20-30 minutes

Mediterranean

Brownish, olive-colored

Brown to black

Brown

fast tanning,

medium shades of brown

>60 minutes

Dark

Dark

black

Dark to black

fast tanning,

dark shades of brown

>60 minutes

black

Dark brown to black

black

Dark

Barely visible increase in pigmentation

>90 minutes

 

the Skin condition results from the current situation of the organism (endogenous = coming from within) and the external (exogenous) variable factors. We usually differentiate between the so-called T-zone (forehead and nose) and the cheek area. The characteristics can vary in severity and vary depending on factors such as climate or hormone status.

Of course, the quantity and quality of sebum production and the disposition of each individual also play a significant role. The condition of the skin is a snapshot that can return to normal or intensify after the factors have changed.

Skin condition

Character

sensitivity

Normal

Uncomplicated, balanced, rather dry in winter

No

combination skin

Oily T-zone, dry cheeks

medium

Oily

Increased sebum production, larger skin pores and thicker skin relief

High

Dry

Delicate and fine-pored, low sebum production, weak ability to bind with water

High

Sensitive

Redness, swelling, eczema

Very high

Ripe
(from 45 years)

Deeper formation of lines and wrinkles, decreasing elasticity and noticeable loss of elasticity, disturbance of the even distribution of melanin (age spots)

Very high

  

In the Skin care from ananné we also speak of phytomedicine. This means that you work with herbal active ingredients. I find it fascinating that plants form certain substances that are related to human processes and have a positive effect on them.

The different layers of skin

Three layers can be distinguished in the skin: the visible epidermis, the anderlying dermis and the lower subcutaneous layer. The superficial epidermis (upper skin), the anderlying dermis (skin) and the deeper subcutis (lower skin). Each layer has special properties and functions. The skin includes various glands (sebaceous and sweat glands), and all hair as well as fingernails and toenails.

What initially appears to be a multitude of different details is actually a finely tuned ensemble of processes that balance the inner state of the organism and the conditions of the environment and mediate them in a balancing manner. All in all, all processes aim to preserve the entire organism and this by stabilizing the balance of all life processes of the organism. The skin has an amazing ability to buffer any deviations or stressful situations and thus keep the organism stable.

Epidermis

It is also called epidermis or cornea and, in addition to mechanical protection, is moisture regulation responsible.

It regulates the loss of water through the skin trans-epithelial water loss, which represents an important orientation for supplementary skin care. If the water loss is higher than the moisture coming from the dermis, the skin's surface dries out. The horny layer of the skin then hardens in places or can even tear because it loses elasticity when it dries out.

This layer is not supplied with blood and its lower layers are supplied with nutrients by the anderlying cell layers of the dermis.

The epidermis shows a slightly acidic environment aroand a pH of 5.5, which varies slightly between individuals. settle on the epidermis bacteria. These bacteria do not damage the skin but, on the contrary, protect it from the colonization of potentially harmful germs. They keep the supply of nutrients low, so that foreign bacteria find relatively unfavorable life factors. They stabilize the skin environment and are part of the immune system.

Dermis

It is also called the corium or dermis. The main functions of the dermis include the absorption of sensory stimuli and metabolism, but above all temperature regulation. the Uptake and processing of nutrients and regenerative processes
in the cells play a central role in this skin layer. A network of elastic connective tissue fibers and the collagen, forms the basic structure of the dermis. It is supplied with blood by finely branched veins, a capillary network.

In this shift comes the Hyaluronic acid naturally produced in the body before, which are types of sugar that bind water and thus have a volume-filling property. The hyaluronic acid is one of the substances that fill the skin relief from the inside.

Subcutis

The hypodermis consists of a loose network of connective tissue, in which mainly fat cells are stored, with one between construction fat und depot fat differs.

Depot fat is food reserves, while building fat has functional properties (e.g. cushioning in the soles of the feet) and is anatomically broken down by the body very late, even in phases of hunger. The heat-insulating property of body fat has an important function, especially in cold living environments (e.g. in northern latitudes).

Structurally, the subcutaneous tissue is not very complex and is closely related to the metabolism of the entire organism, i.e. digestion. The organism stores energy reserves in depot fat.

There are also gender-specific differences in the hypodermis, visible on the one hand in the fat distribution in the different physique and on the other hand in the influence of the "female" hormone estrogen on the tissue structure. This hormonal effect is ultimately reflected in the Cellulitethat mostly affect women. 

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