- The skin serves as the border between where we end and where the external world begins. Its functions largely revolve around its placement in this strategic location. First, the skin acts as a barrier, serving to keep moisture within and external insults out. A natural result of this barrier function is the skin's highly immunologic nature. The skin also possesses a variety of sensory organs which help us receive tactile information about the outside world. Finally, given its vast surface area and thus its capacity to shed heat, the skin is one of the primary loci of body temperature regulation.
- The skin can develop over five thousand diseases thus rendering the need for its own clinical specialty. Skin diseases can be categorized in a number of ways and more refined schema exist. Because only a handful of dermatological diseases are tested on early stage medical licensing exams, we divide skin diseases into two broad categories: Rashes and growths. Roughly speaking, rashes are inflammatory in pathogenesis while growths are caused by a proliferation of cutaneous elements.