What is Dermatology - What is the relationship between the epidermis' structure and its functions?
Protection from environmental assault (barrier function), desiccation avoidance, and immunological surveillance are the three most essential roles of the epidermis. The stratum corneum is a vital cutaneous barrier that keeps the body safe from toxins and dehydration. Although many poisons are nonpolar molecules that can readily pass through the cornified layer's lipid-rich intracellular spaces, the convoluted route between cells in this layer and the layers below successfully acts as a barrier to environmental toxins. In the stratum corneum and melanosomes, ultraviolet radiation, another environmental source of damage to living cells, is efficiently inhibited.
Melanosomes form an umbrella-like structure above the nucleus of keratinocytes, providing photoprotection for both epidermal nuclear DNA and the dermis. Another crucial function is the prevention of desiccation, as significant epidermis loss is often lethal (e.g., toxic epidermal necrolysis). Water content falls as one proceeds from the basal layer to the top in the typical epidermis, with 70 percent to 75 percent of weight at the base and 10 percent to 15 percent at the stratum corneum's bottom.
The Langerhans cells, which are scattered among the keratinocytes, provide immune surveillance against foreign antigens. External antigens are internalised by Langerhans cells, which then process them for presentation to T lymphocytes in the lymph nodes. Inflammatory cells (such as neutrophils, eosinophils, and lymphocytes) can also intercept and eliminate microorganisms in the epidermis.
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