8 Facts About Skin and Bones

Human skin serves as the body’s outer covering. It has multiple layers which protect our bones, muscles, ligaments and inner organs. Skin is the largest organ of the human body’s protective integumentary system.

Bones support and protect the organs of the body, as well as produce blood cells, store minerals and enable us to be mobile.

What follows are 8 facts about our skin and bones.

1. The outer layer of your skin is called the epidermis

Section through the human skin.

The epidermis is thickest on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet.

2. Your skin is home to millions of bacteria.

These are mostly harmless, some are permanent residents and others temporary. Bacteria on your feet, Brevibacterium linens, feed on the dead skin cells that flake off and their waste products are the cause of smelly feet.

3. Belly button ‘fluff’ is a mixture of fabric fibres, dirt, dead skin cells and bacteria

Abdominal hair traps the debris and funnels it into the navel. It has been found that men with a moderate amount of abdominal hair gather the greatest volume of debris in their belly button.

4. The average person has about 2.5 million sweat glands

Cross sections through sweat glands.

Sweat evaporating from your skin helps to regulate your temperature.

5. There are two kinds of sweat glands in your skin

Eccrine sweat glands produce sweat that cools the body; they open directly onto the skin. Apocrine sweat glands open into the base of hair follicles and produce sweat that contains pheromones.

6. You are taller when you get up in the morning than when you go to bed at night

During the day, the cartilage between your bones is compressed making you just a little bit shorter at the end of the day.

7. Half of the bones in your body are contained in your hands and feet

Bones of the adult human hand.

Your hand contains 27 bones, your foot contain 26 bones. That’s a total of… well, work it out for yourself and then compare it to the total number of bones in the body, which is 206 for adult humans.

8. Babies have more bones than adults

Babies have more bones than adults.

A baby has about 350 bones but as an adult, you end up with just 206 as some of the bones fuse (join) together.

Taught science for 16 years at a secondary school in the East Midlands.