Essay Questions On Integumentary System

In addition to these specialized receptors, there are sensory nerves connected to each hair follicle, pain and temperature receptors scattered throughout the skin, and motor nerves innervate the arrector pili muscles and glands. In this micrograph of a skin cross-section, you can see a Meissner corpuscle (arrow), a type of touch receptor located in a dermal papilla adjacent to the basement membrane and stratum basale of the overlying epidermis. (credit: “Wbensmith”/Wikimedia Commons) The integumentary system helps regulate body temperature through its tight association with the sympathetic nervous system, the division of the nervous system involved in our fight-or-flight responses.This rich innervation helps us sense our environment and react accordingly. The sympathetic nervous system is continuously monitoring body temperature and initiating appropriate motor responses.

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However, you also breach this barrier when you choose to “accessorize” your skin with a tattoo or body piercing.

Because the needles involved in producing body art and piercings must penetrate the skin, there are dangers associated with the practice.

These receptors are more concentrated on the tips of the fingers, which are most sensitive to touch, especially the Meissner corpuscle (tactile corpuscle) (Figure 1), which responds to light touch, and the Pacinian corpuscle (lamellated corpuscle), which responds to vibration.

Merkel cells, seen scattered in the stratum basale, are also touch receptors.

This reduced circulation can result in the skin taking on a whitish hue.

Although the temperature of the skin drops as a result, passive heat loss is prevented, and internal organs and structures remain warm.

If the temperature of the skin drops too much (such as environmental temperatures below freezing), the conservation of body core heat can result in the skin actually freezing, a condition called frostbite.

Integumentary System All systems in the body accumulate subtle and some not-so-subtle changes as a person ages.

In contrast, the dermal blood vessels constrict to minimize heat loss in response to low temperatures (b).

(credit a: “Trysil”/flickr; credit c: Ralph Daily) When body temperatures drop, the arterioles constrict to minimize heat loss, particularly in the ends of the digits and tip of the nose.


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