Nails, hair, and human skin — the largest organ system of the body — all comprise of the integumentary system. The integumentary system is highly captivating, as it involves a number of incredible functions and purposes. With the help of the outer layer of dead and keratinized cells, one of the main functions of this system is to waterproof the body. Additionally, it protects the inner organs from being attacked by outside germs and infections, as well as preventing the body from losing water. This system can be considered to be the first line of defense for the body. Not only does it protect the internal organs, but it also helps to regulate temperature, detect pain, cleanse the body of toxins, and also plays an essential role in the synthesis of vitamin D.
Alopecia Areata – Alopecia Areata is a non-contagious disease and an autoimmune disorder that involves the hair follicles being attacked by the immune system. This condition leaves patients bald as it attacks all or most of the hair throughout all regions of the body, particularly the scalp. It is also often referred to as ‘spot baldness’ because that’s how it appears during its beginning stages.
Dermatitis – Dermatitis is the general term to describe inflammation of the skin. Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis are two types of dermatitis. There are many causes for this disorder, and it can surface in various forms — starting out as an itchy rash and then progressing into a more widespread redness and swelling. Although not life-threatening or contagious, those afflicted with this condition can become very uncomfortable and very self-conscious.
Psoriasis – Psoriasis is another chronic, non-contagious, autoimmune disease of the integumentary system. This disease presents itself as red, scaly patches or lesions on the skin. These lesions or scaly patches are called psoriatic plaques. Psoriatic plaques are areas of increased skin production and inflammation.
Warts – Warts are characterized as small, round tumors that are embedded in the skin — usually found in or near the feet or the hands. The human papilloma virus is responsible for warts, including, but not limited to: Mosaic warts, genital warts, plantar warts, flat warts, and common warts. Warts are potentially contagious and can be spread from one person to another through contact. Their appearance may resemble a cauliflower or a solid blister.
Athlete’s Foot – Also known as tinea pedis. It is a fungal infection of the skin and causes flaking, scaling, and itching of certain areas of the skin. Athlete’s foot is spread when bare feet or skin come into contact with moist areas that are often encountered in bathrooms and showers. Although it commonly affects the feet, it can spread to other areas as well; including the groin. Athlete’s foot can be prevented by maintaining good hygiene practices.
Apart from the disease mentioned above, there are many different diseases found within the integumentary system. Some, of which, are: Acne, albinism, basil cell carcinoma, blisters, herpes, melanoma, other kinds of skin cancer, and squamous cell carcinoma. Damage done to the largest organ system of the body can prove to be quite serious.