The Top 5 Things You Don’t (Want to) Know About Your Own Skin

Image credit: Umm.edu
Any precocious schoolchild will tell you that the largest organ of the human body is the skin. And they’re right, those smug little rascals! Indeed, our skin is an amazing thing: It keeps us safe and warm, it’s highly waterproof, it absorbs vitamins from the sun while blocking its harmful rays from our vital internal organs, it helps transport blood, and it gives each and every living person their own distinct appearance. However, while in so many respects skin is the greatest thing around, in other ways it is goddamn disgusting.

5 Your Skin Makes Up Approximately 16 Percent of Your Total Weight

If you are an adult with a relatively healthy BMI (Body Mass Index), then your skin makes up approximately 16 percent of your total weight. That means a 200-pound man is “wearing” more than 30 pounds of skin! All that flesh could be spread out to cover around 20 square feet of space, though we recommend you not try to verify that through experimentation.

4 Your Outer Most Layer of Skin, the Epidermis, is Composed Mainly of Keratin, a Type of Protein

It is the very same protein that makes up a lot of other things, too. Keratin makes up the bulk of your hair and fingernails, for starters. It is also the key “ingredient” in a rhinoceros’ horn, a reptile’s claws, a horse’s hoofs, a turtle’s shell, and much more.

3 On Any Given Day, the Average Human Being Will Shed Up to 1 Million Skin Cells

The rate of shedding is usually around 40,000 cells each and every hour. And all that shedding skin adds up over the course of the year. How much does it add up to, you ask? Each year you probably leave just a bit less than 10 pounds of dead little flakes of yourself around the house and office. And in your car. And in the grocery store, the movie theater, and so on. What do you expect when you drop almost 1,000 skin cells a minute?

2 The Average Human Being Sweats Up to One-and-a-half Gallons (Or Around Six Liters) Every Single Day

If you’re in an extremely warm environment, or are exercising or working hard, the amount can easily double, and then some. (You may think that seems excessive, especially as hardly anyone drinks that much water a day, but recall that most every foodstuff you eat has some fluid content to it as well.)

1 An Average Square Inch of Your Skin is Teaming with Millions of Bacterium

In fact, there may be as many as a trillion bits of bacteria on your body in total. Human flesh is so “rich” in bacteria, that it is referred to as the “skin microbiome” or “skin flora.” Most of these bacteria are either harmless or helpful, thankfully enough, but there are also numerous little bacteria on your skin, like staph, just waiting to find an opening from a nick, burn, or even a pimple which they can infect and ruin your day.

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