How Your Skin Works

How Your Skin Works


KidsHealth presents
“How the Body Works,” with Chloe and the Nurb. [MUSIC PLAYING] [MUSIC PLAYING] Flashlight? Check. Rope? Check. Trail mix? Check. Picture of my mommy? Um, check. Now, will you tell
me where we’re going with all this stuff? We’re going “Under the
Surface of the Skin!” Skin, skin, skin,
skin, skin, skin. Ahem. Excuse me. [MUSIC PLAYING] Wow. This is pretty cool. I mean, I see skin all the
time– soft skin, wrinkly skin, light skin, dark
skin– but I never thought about what’s
under the skin. What’s on top is
just the beginning of the skin you’re in. The skin actually
has three layers. There’s the
epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutaneous fat. I don’t know who gave you your
elevator operating license, but I would like to
have a word with them. Oh Chloe, you don’t need a
license to operate an elevator. OK. My stomach’s feeling better. Whoa! The epidermis is like
a skin cell factory. New cells are being born
at the bottom all the time and slowly making their
way up to the top. It takes the cells about four
weeks to get all the way up, and by the time they finally
make it to the surface, they’re dead. So I’m like a skin
cell graveyard? [WOLF HOWL] Precisely. And you’re shedding dead
skin cells all the time. Wow. What else is up here? The epidermis also
contains melanin, and it’s what makes
skin darker or lighter. The more melanin a person has,
the darker their skin will be. Skin comes in many
beautiful colors, like my lovely lavender sheen. I’ve heard melanin also helps
protect you from the sun. It sure does. But even melanin
can’t do it all, and that’s why we wear sunscreen
to keep from getting burned. So what has the dermis
done for me lately? Let’s go find out. Ooh, look at all
this stuff down here. I see blood vessels, and that’s
a nerve ending over there. I know nerve endings send
messages to the brain, but what is the skin
trying to tell the brain? Well, it’s a touchy subject. OK, I’m going to guess that
that terrible pun means that this has to do
with the sense of touch. Smarter and smarter you get. Think of all the things
your skin touches– rough tree bark,
a cold snowball, a nice cup of hot chocolate. Nerve endings read all
of these sensations and tell the brain and
nervous system about them, then the brain
and nervous system decide if the body
needs to respond. So if I touch something
too hot, my nervous system tells my hand to
move away from it? Exactly. Wow. I never knew my
skin was so smart. And it doesn’t just
feel hot or cold. Your skin also detects other
touches– oh, like tickling. Hey! What are those things? Those are your beautiful, your
glorious, your fabulous sweat and oil gland. They keep you wonderfully
sticky and sweaty. Ew. Yes, but a good ew. Oil glands, or
sebaceous glands, make a sticky substance called
sebum that moves up to the epidermis, where it
creates an oily layer that protects and moistens your skin. Sebum also makes your
skin a little waterproof. But what about the sweat glands? Oh, I’m so glad you asked. The sweat glands start
here in the dermis, where they make sweat
that travels up– Slowly, please. [SIGH] [MUSIC PLAYING] –up to the epidermis, where the
sweat comes out of holes called pores. And the last stop on the
Skin Layer Express is the– Subcutaneous fat. A little warning
next time maybe? Ah, fat, sweet fat. Why do we need fat? The body needs some
fat to cushion and help protect your bones and organs. This layer of fat also helps
keep you nice and toasty warm. Nice. What else is down here? See that thing over there? I know what that is. That’s a hair follicle. So the hair starts
all the way down here? And goes all the way up here! Ugh. I bet the hair does it at
a more reasonable speed. Oh, I forgot. Near the base of
the hair– whoa! Ugh. –there are little muscles
called erector pili that tighten when you’re cold and
pull the hair so it stands up straight. It’s called the
pilomotor reflex. (SINGING) Fancy word. Ugh. And that’s what makes all
those little bumps pop up on your skin. You mean goosebumps? The very same. Remember those blood vessels
we saw on the dermis? Yes. These ones! Yes, those ones. When you’re cold, they make
themselves really small to keep all your nice warm
blood far away from the cold air outside your skin. Don’t. You. Dare. You were saying? When you’re hot,
those blood vessels bring all the blood closer
to the surface of the skin so it can cool down faster. Is that why when I run
a lot, my face gets red? It is precisely why. And the sweat glands
help here too. They produce a lot of sweat of
the surface of your skin, which evaporates and disappears,
cooling you down in the process. Aah! [MUSIC PLAYING] Next time, I’m driving. All right, you can
drive in the sequel– “Under the Surface of the Skin
2– Chloe Takes the Lever.” Squee. Now gimme some skin! [MUSIC PLAYING] [MUSIC PLAYING]

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