Question 15

Explain the role of the skin.

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College Answer

The skin is the largest organ of the body, accounting for about 15% of the total adult body weight, with a rich, but tightly regulated blood flow. It performs many vital functions, including the protection against external physical, chemical, and biologic threats, the prevention of excess water loss from the body and thermoregulation. It is composed of three principle layers, the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue, each with their own purpose. In addition candidates were expected to describe those aspects of the skin that play a role in physical protection, immune, sensory, thermoregulatory and water regulation. Candidates lacked a sufficient breath and depth of knowledge in this area and often digressed beyond areas specific to the skin (e.g. thermoregulation not specific to the skin).