Our skin is waterproof

Skin is our largest organ. © Getty Images

Skin is our largest organ. © Getty Images

Our bodies are covered with a waterproof skin. It is one of the body's organs, just as the heart and the lungs are body organs. It is the human body's largest organ.

People have different coloured skin depending on the amount of a substance called melanin in the body.

Skin holds the body together. It keeps water and blood inside and it keeps out things such as germs and dirt that might harm us.

Our skin is elastic

Skin is elastic and stretches as we grow. Skin is loose at our knees and elbows so they can bend.  Skin is tighter and thicker on the palm of the hand so we can grip things. Skin is very very thin on our eyelids and it is thickest on the soles of our feet.

Every person has a different fingerprint pattern

Every person has a different fingerprint pattern

Skin senses how things feel and the temperature of things. It tells when you have been hurt (pain).

The skin on the tips of the fingers has a pattern on it made by little ridges in skin. Each person has a different pattern. These are called fingerprints.

Look at your fingerprints through a magnifying glass. 

Skin has three main layers

There are three layers of skin. Getty Images

There are three layers of skin. Getty Images

They are:

The epidermis (say eh-pih-DUR-mis), is the outer layer. It keeps dirt out of our body. We shed skin. Dead skin cells flake off from the epidermis all the time. Every minute of the day we lose about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells off the surface of our skin

The dermis (say DUR-mis) is the middle layer and it has blood vessels and sweat glands. It helps the skin stretch.

The subcutis (say sub-KEW-tis) is the deepest layer of your skin. It stores fat, and it contains blood vessels, hair follicle roots and nerves.

 

There are different colours of skin, but they all do the same job!  Getty Images

There are different colours of skin, but they all do the same job!  Getty Images

Skin colour

The colour of human skin depends on the amount of a substance called melanin that the body produces. Small amounts of melanin result in light skin while large amounts result in dark skin. Melanin also determines the colour of human hair.

Protecting your skin

The best way to protect and care for your skin is to keep it clean. Washing your hands is especially important because your hands can spread germ to other parts of your skin. Wash your hands and the rest of your body in a bath or shower with warm water and a mild soap. Rinse well and dry with a clean towel.

You need to protect your skin from the sun's harmful ultra-violet rays. These rays cause skin damage and cancer. The best way to protect your skin is to cover up by wearing a hat and applying sunscreen and a lip balm.

Watch a short animation about your skin