Sweat comes out through the tiny hair holes but the skin does not allow water to penetrate through the hair holes. Why?

MUTHUPRASATH

Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu

Pores are tiny holes present on the skin surface. The pores bring out the sweat and oil secreted by the sweat glands and the sebaceous glands respectively.

While the sweat gland opens by separate pores, the sebaceous glands open through pores located along the hair follicles.

The size of the pores is about 30-50 micro metres (1 micro metre = 1/1000 mm). These pores are microscopic and are closed at normal conditions.

The pore opens only when the gland is actively secreting. The secretion of these glands is influenced by the body temperature and hormones. Hence there is no chance of water seepage through the pores.

Our intracellular and extracellular body fluids have specific osmolality and electrolyte concentration. Any alteration in these parameters will lead to swelling or death of cells. Stratum corneum is the outermost layer of the skin and is made of keratin.

This layer prevents water absorption through the skin as it will change the concentration and characteristics of the body fluids. Hence water is not absorbed through the body surface also.

DR.SELVA SEETHARAMAN. S.

Consultant Plastic Surgeon

SRM Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS)

Chennai

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