The skin is the one of the largest organs in the body, as well in surface area as in weight. The skin has three main functions: protection, regulation and sensation.
The skin protects your child against cold, heat and dehydration but also against viruses and bacteria. In addition, the skin protects the body against external pressure and painful stimuli. An unique feature of the skin is when it gets damaged, for example by a wound, the skin can heal itself.
The skin is also an organ of regulation. The skin regulates several aspects of physiology, including body temperature via sweat and it acts as a reservoir for the synthesis of Vitamin D. Besides all this the skin has a sensation function. The skin contains an extensive network of nerve cells that detect changes in the environment, in other words, your child is feeling with his/her skin. Last but not least the skin offers support and gives shape to the body along with the skeleton.
Structure of the skin
The skin consists of three layers, each with their own function. The top layer is called the epidermis. This layer provides protection against pathogens like bacteria and viruses. The middle layer is called the dermis which consists of connective tissue. This skin layer is responsible for the transportation of waste materials and ensures that your child keeps his/her body temperature.
The bottom layer of the skin is called the subcutaneous tissue and is the separation between the skin and the muscles and tendons in the body.
Skin conditions in relation to allergy
Many children suffer from skin conditions due to an allergic reaction. There are many different types of skin conditions that can be triggered by various types of allergy and they can be extremely uncomfortable, causing a great deal of distress and even embarrassment. Skin conditions can occur not only in case of a contact allergy but also in case of a pet allergy for example (inhalation allergy).
Below a number of symptoms are stated which can be caused by an allergic reaction. These symptoms are all related to the skin:
- (Severe) itching
- Hives (also called urticaria)
- Angioedema (swelling of the mucous membranes)
- Flaky skin