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HLTC22H3 (102)
Dan Silver (21)
Chapter 5

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
Dan Silver

Chapter 5Aging of The Skin and Musculoskeletal System Skin Basic Anatomy and PhysiologyThe skin is the front line of defence against harmful environmental influences and is an important part of our immunologic and endocrine systems Critical in temp maintenance and aids in homeostasisSensory nerves in the skin allow us to monitor the environment but also warn us of danger through painThe integumentary system has important symbolic functions in that it is a key component of our appearance and is a critical source of cues that affect social interaction The skin is that largest and most visible organ of the bodyOutermost layer of the skin is called the epidermisand the second layer is the dermisBeneath the epidermis and dermis is a layer of subcutaneous fat hair follicles nail beds and nails and sweat and sebaceous glands are embedded in the various layers Epidermis consists mostly of keratinocytes cells that protect the skin from outside harm and help it heal if it is injured found deep in the epidermis They slowly move to the surface of the epidermis as they age a process that takes about 30 days If the skin is injured the keratinocytes will reproduce and turn over at a more rapid rate allowing the damage to be repaired Melanocytes 2 of cells in epidermis produce melanin for keratinocytes and give colour to the skinExposure to the sun results in an increase in melanin production but these cells which helps to protect the skin from damage Langerhans cells 1 of cells in epidermis are an important part of the immune system as along w the mast cells found in the dermal layer they respond to toxic allergic stimuliDermis consists largely of collagen and elastin tissue which provide strength and elasticity to the skinCells in the dermis layer include mast cells that are responsible for the skins ability to respond to allergens Under the epidermis and dermis is a layer of subcutaneous fat which consists mostly of adipocytes fat cellsSubcutaneous fat gives shape and form to the body and provides protection and insulation AgeRelated Changes Wrinkles are partially due to a decrease in the subcutaneous fat layer and in the collagen and elastin found in the dermal layer Fig 51 pg 100 Aging of the SkinA decrease in the size and number of keratinocytes limits the skins ability to help the body produce vitamin DA decrease in melanocytes affects the skins ability to protect itself from the sun and some of the remaining melanocytes clump together leaving blotchy unpigmented areas of the skinThe Langerhans cells decrease by as much as 40 reducing the ability of the skin to respond to allergic stimuliThere is a flattening of the junction bw the epidermis and dermis which decreases the adhesion bw the two layers an bc of these changes the skin is much more likely to bruise and tear if an injury occurs and less likely to heal The decrease in blood vessel availability predisposes the older person to both hypothermia and hyperthermia Decrease in number of sensory nerves also results in decreased sensitivity to touch injury and to heat and coldThinning of the subcutaneous fat layer also affects the ability of the body to maintain homeostasis w age This thinning not only makes the skin more fragile but the loss of insulation also increases the risk of an older persons developing hypothermiaThe loss of sweat glands in the skin affects thermal regulation decreasing the ability to sweat which is why elders are more vulnerable to high temps than younger people
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