19 Things You Didn’t Know about Your Skin

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What about that skin you’re in? Pretty amazing, huh? It’s the ultimate taskmaster, protecting your organs, keeping you hot or cool, shedding its own cells to make new ones, it’s almost unbelievable. But how much do you really know about your skin, other than you don’t want it to smell? Check out this list of 19 things you not only didn’t know, but that you never even imagined could be true!


1. First off, you have a HUGE amount of skin

No matter what Maxim may tell you, your SKIN is your largest organ, covering about 22 square feet ( depending on your height), and has more than 11 miles of blood vessels.


2. It’s heavy too

About 16 percent of your total body weight is from your skin alone. So tell people that you’re not overweight, you’re over-skinned!


3. White skin is new

White skin appeared only 20,000 to 50,000 years ago when the dark skinned human beings migrated to colder climates and lost much of their pigment.


4. The blind see with their skin

The brain’s visual cortex is rewired for blind people, so they respond to stimuli received through touch and hearing. This means that they, literally, see the world by touch and sound.


SEE ALSO: 8 Ways to Get Great Skin Infographic

5. Super sensitivity

One study showed that the touch receptors in your palms, lips, tongue, nipples, fingertips, penis, and clitoris, (called Meissner corpuscles) recognize a pressure of as little as 20 milligrams. That’s about the weight of a house fly.


6. Fingerprints: More than just a component at a crime scene

Although we use fingerprints for identification, Mother Nature had other things in mind. Fingerprints are actually used to help you grip things by using friction. New World monkeys have “fingerprints” underneath their tails, to help them grasp tree branches better.


7. Fetuses

They don’t get fingerprints until they are about 3 months of age.


8. Ooh, that smell!

Your body odor doesn’t come from the sweat you see on your forehead, but from a second kind of sweat, the fatty secretion that is produced by our apocrine sweat glands (that are mainly found around the genitals, armpits, and, um, butt) and the bacteria that is eating and digesting those fatty secretions. Sounds as bad as it smells, huh?


9. Speaking of sweat

Your skin releases as much as three gallons of sweat every day in hot weather. There are areas of your body that don’t sweat, however. That would be your nail bed, the eardrums, the margins of the lips, and the tip of the penis. Read about natural ways to control body odor.


10. Newborns

Newborns skins are covered with a slightly waxy substance called vernix. This is protection for the fetus’s skin while it is still in the womb. It generally washes off with baby’s first bath. Awwwwww.

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11. How you sleep affects your skin

Sleeping with your face buried in the pillows can eventually lead to wrinkles. Use a satin or silk pillowcase to help avoid this.


12. Not all your skin is the same thickness

Your eyelids have the thinnest skin, only about 0.05 millimeters thick, while the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands have the thickest skin at 1.5 millimeters.


13. Your skin is multilayered

Your skin consists of three layers: The epidermis, the dermis, and the sub cutis. The dermis is the middle layer and is responsible for 90 percent of the thickness of your skin. The sub cutis is the innermost part and is mostly made up of fat and collagen. The epidermis is the layer that you see. It works as a barrier between your body and the environment around you. Find out how to nourish your skin.


14. You shed!

You shed an almost unbelievable amount of skin cells; as much as 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells every single minute of your life. We haven’t even talked about what happens when you use those exfoliating scrubs!


15. Temperature control

Your body acts as a kind of thermostat, allowing your blood vessels to widen when you are hot, so your skin can release heat, and contracting those same blood vessels when you get cold, to conserve body heat.


16. You’ve changed colors

Newborns’ are actually a deep red or purple color when they are born, with hands and feet that are a greyish blue color.


17. The most common skin problem?

Acne. It affects as many as 50 million Americans. More than 85 percent of us will experience acne at one time or another in our lifetime.


18. Scars

Scars occur when there is damage to the dermis, which is the second layer of the skin. The collagen in a scar is different from the collagen in undamaged skin. So when our skin cells die and get replaced, scar collagen does not shed nor is it replaced. Also, scars cannot grow hair.


19. The Book of Skin

Literally. The Harvard Law School, Brown University, and the Cleveland Public Library all have books that are literally made of skin. This skin came from the poor or executed criminals. Can you say ewwwww?