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The title of this article is FIRE AND PLANTS.

The largest organ in the human body is your skin. I asked a group of five-year-olds one time, what their skin did for them? One young man after thinking about the question for a minute said, “It holds everything together, so nothing falls out.” Another volunteered, “It keeps the bugs and worms out of my stomach.” A young lady said, “It lets me smell good when I take a bath.” Then her little brother belched causing her to look at me and say, “Not like that smell!”

A diagram of younger skin

The fact of the matter is that our skin does all of those things. But there are a large number of other designs built into the skin that we may not realize. Our skin reduces water loss from our bodies. It helps regulate temperature, insulates our bodies, and helps produce vitamin D. Under our eyes our skin is only
.5 mm thick, while on our back it is 14 mm thick. Sweat glands, hair follicles, and connective tissue are strategically placed to allow us to live on a planet that has large swings in surface temperature. The highest concentration of touch receptors in our skin (aside from genitals) is in our fingertips. That gives us the important sensations we need and treasure.

The structure of our skin is amazingly complex. There are two different layers separated from each other by a membrane which is a thin sheet of fibers that transmit nutrients and remove wastes. This sits on a layer called the hypodermis which supports the upper layers. The outer layer called the epidermis has no blood vessels of its own but carries on its functions with the outside world by capillary action and diffusion.

One area of mystery even today is why our skin wrinkles when it is wet for too long. Recent studies show that there is a lattice in the epidermis made of a fibrous protein called keratin. The lattice expands when it gets wet and carries water away leaving the wrinkles. Some researchers believe the wrinkles give the fingers or toes better traction on wet surfaces, but not all agree on that. We do not have to go far to see God's wisdom in the design of our bodies. Just look at your hand. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, …” (Psalm 139:14).

Picture credits:
© designua. Image from BigStockPhoto.com