A Common Injury To the Body
The skin is not often thought of as an organ, but it is the largest one of the body. Sometimes known as the integumentary system, the skin can require involved medical care.
As to vehicle collisions, skin has become increasingly subject to injury. This is because more people are using seat belts and shoulder harnesses. The rope-burn effect, from the fabric, takes place. This further is exacerbated by the powerful impact of the air bag exploding.
Animal bites are another common source of skin injuries. They can be created either by laceration or puncture wounds, commonly from the teeth of a dog or cat.
Deep scar revision surgery, to correct disfigurement, is often needed. A scar is fibrous tissue that forms after the skin has suffered damage.
After the threat of infection is successfully addressed, attention turns to treating the damage caused to the nerves at the dermis, or middle layer of skin.
Delays in Healing
The skin, which makes up about 15% of the total body weight, has multiple functions. Its large surface area not only contains our organs, but protects them from even greater damage at impact. This especially is true of the epidermis, the dermis and the subdermis. All of them help the skin cushion the body from harmful impacts.
When the integumentary system is harmed, pain is caused, and it fails to perform its usual functions. This includes secreting waste materials and protecting the victim from bacteria. This leaves the person open to infection and greatly delays healing of other injuries.
If the subcutis, the deepest layer of skin, is damaged, then the network of fat cells and collagen are adversely affected. This compromises the body’s ability to retain body heat. It also prevents the subcutis from effectively acting as a shock absorber.
Burn Victims and Skin
Burn victims are especially vulnerable to further injury. The skin is vital in regulating body temperature and, when it is compromised, there is always the danger of death. Deep burn injuries are often slow to heal and tremendously painful.
The likelihood of disfiguring scars is to be expected from thermal injuries. It can take years, after medical release, for a plastic surgeon to evaluate the potential benefits of scar revision procedures.