Introduction to Functions of the Integumentary System

Describe the different functions of the skin

The skin and accessory structures perform a variety of essential functions, such as protecting the body from invasion by microorganisms, chemicals, and other environmental factors; preventing dehydration; acting as a sensory organ; modulating body temperature and electrolyte balance; and synthesizing vitamin D. The underlying hypodermis has important roles in storing fats, forming a “cushion” over underlying structures, and providing insulation from cold temperatures.

What You’ll Learn to Do

  • Describe the role the integumentary system plays in protection and sensation
  • Explain how the skin helps maintain body temperature
  • Describe the process of vitamin D synthesis in the body

Learning Activities

The learning activities for this section include the following:

  • Protection and Sensory Function
  • Thermoregulation
  • Vitamin D Synthesis
  • Self Check: Functions of the Integumentary System


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