The intergumentary system is comprised of the skin and all its extremities, this includes things such as our hair, nails and sweat glands. It is a multi-purposed organ that gives protection to all the deeper fascia of the of the body from external harm, it also regulates temperature, senses external stimulants such as pain, heat and pressure and also prevents disease by blocking the entry to micro organisms. The integumentary system is also responsible for the production of vitamin D, and through perspiration ,acts as an excretory organ of the metabolic waste.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and is composed of two layers; the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin .It contains the different cells responsible for keeping the skin water tight, and through the production of melanin , give the skin its pigment . It is also essential in the protecting the deeper tissue layers from UV damage.
The dermis is the second layer of the skin. It comprised of elastic fibres,collagen and reticular fibres. directly below the epidermis, the papillary layer of the dermis contains the tactile corpuscles-mechanoreceptors that are sensitive to light touch and are particularly prominent in areas of high sensitivity such as the fingers and lips.
The second layer of the dermis, reticular layer, is a strong elastic network formed from criss-crossing collagen fibres. It contains the lamellar corpuscles-mechanoreceptors that sense deep pressure.
The skin both sweat and oil glands. the sudoriferous, or sweat glands, and are divided into eccrine and apocrine glands. Eccrine glands secretes sweat in the effort to cool the body while the various apocrine glands are responsible for the secretion of as many varied substances such as pheromones, ear wax and milk.
Sebaceous or oil glands are found throughout the surface of the intergumentary system except for the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. The glands ducts are found on the base of the hair follicles and through the secretion of the sebum stop the skin from drying and keep the hair moist.
We never think of the skin when exercising but this is one of the first organ of the body that will indicate to me the health and well being of a client, in just the same way as I treat and injury at the scene of an accident, I use my eyes and a lot of clients still remark that one of the first thing I notice is if the ladies have had their hair done or changed colour of her hair. When treating a patient at the scene of an accident I always look and start at the top and work my way done the body. The skin and the eyes are the first thing I look at a person skin should look fresh if it is flushed or pale then that is a warning sign to me and I start to ask questions about the health and welfare of the client and if the eyes are tired and body suffering from lack of sleep ask again.
Pain and stress fall into this bracket and plays an important part in the way that we exercises and the effectiveness of the exercise, also if the glands are over working and the client is sweating this will some times temper the routine we are about to do. Another indicator might be the condition of the nails and hair, these will some times give me an idea of long term medication, illness as well as possible over exercising, yes we are all capable of over exercising including myself. We all go through the same checks with members of our families and friends when we meet and see each other.