– First and foremost, the skin does provide this protective layer against the the outer world, the elements, and so on. The skin creates this mechanical barrier to prevent things from getting in. What’s perceived as kinda the outer world coming in to the inner world. But it does so much more than that, it also plays such a huge role in how we interact with the world through senses, essentially.
– Yes, yes. So this is a key point, is that the skin and the nervous system are really one and the same. The epithelium, which is the outer layer of the skin, and the nervous system all develop from the same type of tissue, embryologically. So, they have the same origins and then they go on and at certain points differentiate. But that close connection from the beginning really plays out, and it’s really clinically relevant and important. As maybe we’ll talk about in a little bit, when we’re talking about specific conditions or dysfunctions of the skin. But if you think about it, we have sensory nerves all through our skin. Anywhere you touch on the body on your skin you feel it because there’s nerve endings there so it plays such an important role in how we interact and we can look at pleasure, how the skin acts. So it’s not just a purely protective organ in that sense.
– It’s actually a source of nourishment.
– It’s a source of nourishment.
– I always like to call all of our senses “food”, it’s nourishment for the human being. I think of like the Romanian Orphanage issue that happened, I can’t remember the exact time, but there was, children weren’t receiving enough healthy touch in an Orphanage and they were having failure to thrive because of lack of healthy touch.
– That’s right.
– So the skin, when we touch, is a source of nourishment.
– That’s right, it’s a source of nourishment. It actually, chemical processes happen just by being touched. Nerves fire, chemicals move, you know, things actually, measurable results occur just as a result of that. So that’s a really good point. You also mentioned the inner world. I often tell people that the skin and the G.I. tract are really one and the same, it’s like a sock turned inside out.
– Because the G.I. tract would be that other barrier from the outer world. That if anything, it’s gonna get really into our cells, it has to first go through either the skin on the outside or the G.I. tract on the inside.
– Right. See, outer world running through the inner world is really the G.I. tract, right?
– Yeah Open ended, walled off, epithelial cells, absolutely.
– And then when you speak of nourishment, of course, it’s even more concrete when we look at the nourishment, which you specialize in, nutrition. The way that we actually absorb molecules, we actually absorb substances from the outside world and then integrate it to the body.