Home Economics Notes

The skin


Microbial Diseases Of The Skin And Eyes 1 | Skin anatomy, Integumentary  system, Anatomy organs


The Human skin has three layers. The epidermis forms the outer, protective layer. The dermis contains hair roots, sweat and oil glands, nerves, and blood vessels. The fat layer attaches the skin to internal organs.

The skin is the outer protection of the body. It consists of two layers known as the epidermis and dermis.

The epidermis is the outer layer which includes the hairs and the pores through which the skin gets rid of waste matter in the form of sweat while the dermis is the inner layer known as [true skin] it has blood vessels, tiny glands, hair roots and fat. The sweat glands send out sweat, [perspiration] through the pores. The skin helps to keep the body temperature normal [370C] by sending out sweats during hot weather. As the sweat dries up, it cools the body. The dermis is made up of the following:

  1. Sweat glands which produce sweat.
  2. Oil glands which produce oil that keeps the skin and hair fresh and soft.
  3. Blood vessels help it to perform its functions.
  4. Fat deposits which reduce heat loss from the body.


  1. It protects the body from bacterial infection (germs), poor weather and injury.
  2. It helps the body to get rid of waste products through sweating
  3. It helps to keep the body temperature normal [i.e at 98.40F or 370C] by producing sweat during hot weather.
  4. It also keeps the body warm in cold weather.
  5. When the sun shines on the skin, vitamin D is produced by the skin.


  1. Normal Skin: It is soft, clear, smooth and without spots or blemishes.
  2. Dry Skin: It is usually thin, sensitive and wrinkles easily, especially around the mouth and eyes. This can result from poor feeding, ill health, dry weather, and lack of skin care.
  3. Oily Skin: It is greasy and occurs when the oil glad produces too much oil.
  4. Combination Skin (oily and dry skin): It has some part of the skin oily e.g. the nose and fore-head, while other parts are dry e.g. the leg.


 1. State two functions of the skin.

 2. List four types of skin. 


The sweat which comes out though the pores brings waste matter to the surface of the skin. If the sweat dries on the skin it may block the pores and give unpleasant odour. Anti-perspirants and deodorants may be used to control the excessive sweating and unpleasant odour.

When the pores are blocked, it results into skin infection. A skin that is cared for adds beauty to personal appearance. A good skin is soft, smooth and neither too oily nor too dry.

  1. Wash the whole body daily and more than once during hot and dusty season.
  2. Always have a bath after serious games or exercise to avoid body odour.
  3. Use good toilet soap, soft sponge and clean water.
  4. Do not use bleaching cream.
  5. Keep your towel, underwear and other clothes clean.
  6. Eat balanced diet.
  7. Treat skin diseases and infections promptly.


  1. Cuts: There are different types of cuts such as small, wide and deep cut. Deep cuts are caused by dirty sharp objects as nails, broken bottles, cans, wires, knives, scissors etc.


Wash in water to which a few drop of mild antiseptic have been added. Apply a plaster, lint or bandage.

  • Burns and scalds: These are skin injuries caused by dry heat for example, the heat of a flame or hot iron, pot, etc. Scalds are caused by moist heat like steam or boiling liquids on the skin.


  1. Soak a clean piece of cloth in palm oil, groundnut oil or shear butter and bandage the burns with it.
  2. Apply Vaseline and a bandage
  3. If blisters occur do not burst or open them.
  4. Severe burns and scalds should be treated immediately by a doctor.
  • Bruises: These result when the body is given a blow with sufficient force. There is bleeding under the skin without breaking it. Swelling and deceleration of the injured area occur.


  1. Soak a clean cloth or handkerchief in a very cold water and bandage the bruise with it. Keep the bandage very wet with cold water or  
  2. Wrap some ice blocks in a clean cloth and apply this to the bruise.


These are bites from insects such as wasp, bee and scorpion.


  1. Clean the area with cold water
  2. Apply a soothing lotion such as calamine lotion.
  3. Remove the stings from the body by:
  4. Gentle squeezing at opposite sides of the puncture or alternatively, place the ring-like end of a small key over the spot.
  5. Press the key hard to remove the sting.
  1. Clean the area with suitable antiseptic solution e.g. T.C.P or Dettol.
  2. Apply a bandage
  3. Very painful stings such as that of scorpion should be treated by a doctor immediately.


  1. Mention two layers of the skin.
  2. What are the functions of the skin?
  3. List skin injuries.
  4. Mention three hair infections.
  5. State the three major parts of the ear.


  • One of the following contains sweat glands and blood vessels.

(a) Epidermis   (b) Dermis (c) Peridermis (d) Sweat pores

  • Sweat is produced in the skin by (a) Dermis (b) Sweat pores (c) Sweat glands    (d) Blood vessels
  • When the sun shines on the skin one of the following is produced. (a) Vitamin B   (b) Vitamin C    (c) Vitamin A    (d) Vitamin D
  • Which of the following is not a skin injury? (a) Cuts (b) bruise (c) cancer (d) skin
  • Whenever the skin is opened, torn or punctured by sharp objects, the result is (a) bruise   (b) burn    (c) cuts   (d) bite


  1. State three functions of the skin
  2. Mention two skin injuries


Read “Structure, Functions, Types   and Care of the skin” from Home Economics for Junior Secondary Schools, by Elizabeth U. Anyakoha, Pages 25-28.

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