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Case Study - The Integumentary System - Essay Example

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The Integumentary System The integumentary system is the largest organ of the body. Its primary function is to protect underlying tissues and organs from bacteria or from any sustainable external damage posed by the surrounding environment. It is divided into three major parts, namely: 1) the epidermis, 2) the dermis and 3) the subdermies or subcutaneous layer (Nakate, 2011)…
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Case Study - The Integumentary System
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Download file to see previous pages Next comes the dermis, which is considered the “true skin” (Willis, 2010). Unlike the epidermis, the dermis is made up of numerous blood vessels and nerves. The nerve endings found in this layer particularly the Meissner corpuscles sense touch, the Ruffini corpuscles sense pressure and the Pasinian corpuscles senses both pressure and vibration (Prater, 2009). Last but not the least comes the subcutaneous layer or subdermis which attaches the skin to the muscles. These particular skin layers are composed of loose connective tissues and adipose fat. The loose connective tissue links the dermis and the subcutaneous layers, while the adipose fat act as a reservoir for energy supply (Willis, 2010). The glands – Sebaceous (oil glands) and Subdoriferous (sweat glands) are located in the dermis and subcutaneous layers of the skin. The sebaceous glands secrete sebum to keep skin and hair lubricated while the sweat glands or the subdoriferous glands keeps the body from getting too hot and brings out small portions of waste by sweating (Willis, 2010). As people grow old, the entire integumentary system normally changes and losses efficiency making the elderly more prone to acquiring skin problems that they did not experienced before. Skin deterioration is determined by the following factors: 1) heredity (genes), 2) diets, and 3) personal habits (like smoking/drinking). The drying of the skin is a normal occurrence in the elderly because the oil glands do not produce sebum as well as when the individual was younger. Dry skin usually lead to itching, flaking and sagging (Maji, 2010) making older people’s skin break easily. Regular and prolonged exposure to the sun dries up the skin, and together with the ultraviolet rays that penetrate deep into the skin layers, irreversibly damages the collagen and elastin fibers; thus creating loose sagging skin and wrinkles (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2010). In relation to the case study, since Florence Lee engaged in prior activities like surfing and lawn bowls, the suns heat and UV rays accelerated the breakdown of the collage and elastin fibers which keeps her skin intact. Additionally, the oil glands ceased to produce sufficient lubrication to keep her skin elastic making her skin excessively dry and sensitive; so when she scratches an itch the skin easily cracks and bleeds (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2010). Florence also has the habit of smoking. Smoking irreversibly hastens the body to age prematurely and permanently damages the collagen and elastin fibers resulting to formation of early wrinkles (Barrymore, 2011). This in addition to her previous activities contributed greatly to her current dry skin condition. Florence cannot tolerate hot weather or warm temperatures primarily because her skin became much thinner as she aged (LSUAgCenter.com, 2010). She cannot endure hot climates or temperatures because it either causes heat rashes that are itchy and painful; or because she may be suffering from “hyperthermia”. Hyperthermia is a term that comprises a mixture of heat associated illnesses like: heat fatigue, heat stress, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and dizziness (heat syncope) (LSUAgCenter.com, 2010). Hand washing is the most basic way of eliminating germs and bacteria that can cause infection. Florence must wash her hands after toileting to remove the germs she acquired ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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