Introduction to the Integumentary System

Describe the components of the integumentary system

What do you think when you look at your skin in the mirror? Do you think about covering it with makeup, adding a tattoo, or maybe a body piercing? Or do you think about the fact that the skin belongs to one of the body’s most essential and dynamic systems: the integumentary system? The integumentary system refers to the skin and its accessory structures, and it is responsible for much more than simply lending to your outward appearance. In the adult human body, the skin makes up about 16 percent of body weight and covers an area of 1.5 to 2 m2. In fact, the skin and accessory structures are the largest organ system in the human body. As such, the skin protects your inner organs and it is in need of daily care and protection to maintain its health. This chapter will introduce the structure and functions of the integumentary system, as well as some of the diseases, disorders, and injuries that can affect this system.

What You’ll Learn to Do

  • Describe the different layers of the skin
  • Identify the accessory structures of the skin
  • Describe the different functions of the skin and the structures that enable them
  • Identify different diseases, disorders, and injuries of the integumentary system

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include the following:

  • Layers of the Skin
  • Accessory Structures of the Skin
  • Functions of the Integumentary System
  • Diseases, Disorders, and Injuries of the Integumentary System
  • Self Check: The Integumentary System