The relationship between the integumentary system and circulation effect the body in several different ways. Certain elements can enter the bloodstream through the circulatory system by capillary networks in the skin. Transdermal medications use patches to transfer medications like birth control, nicotine patches, and motion sick patches. Another type of transdermal medication is nitroglycerin paste which is smeared onto the chest to regulate certain heart conditions.
The skin also helps in regulating body temperature. If the body is too hot or too cold, the brain sends nerve signals to the skin, increasing or decreasing heat loss from the surface of the skin. Another way body temperature is regulated is by the hairs on the skin. The arrector pili muscle raises the hairs, helping trap warm air underneath them when the body is cold.
Capillaries near the surface can widen or narrow when the body needs to cool off or when the body needs to retain heat. When the body temperature increases, blood vessels in the skin widen and bring more blood to the surface of the skin where heat is released. Perspiration is occurring simultaneously which evaporates to cool down the body. When the body is cold, blood vessels in the skin will constrict, moving blood away from the skin and circulating throughout the body to keep it warm. The glands under the skin secrete sweat onto the surface of the skin, evaporating the perspiration to cool down the body. Perspiration is mostly made of water, salt, and other chemical compounds. Sebaceous glands produce sebum, which acts to protect the body from dehydration and from absorbing harmful substances.
Some common conditions and diagnosis are acne, cellulitis, and psoriasis. Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog the skin’s pores. It mostly occurs in teens, affecting more than 85%.
Symptoms of acne are usually blemishes on the skin that are red, swollen, or even inflamed in severe cases. Other symptoms include whiteheads and blackheads, pimples, or cystic lesions. Acne treatments vary depending on the severity of acne. It could include topical medications and oral antibiotics. There is potential development of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotic, thus healthcare providers could combine treatments for the best results and to avoid these complications from occurring. Cellulitis is an acute, spreading bacterial infections below the surface of the skin. Approximately 1-14% of patients are seen for cellulitis in emergency room visits and 4-7% in hospital admissions.
Cellulitis is characterized by redness, swelling, and pain. Infections may occur and could lead to fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Treatment for cellulitis includes topical and oral antibiotics. Penicillin-based antibiotics are often used and are most effective against staph infections. Potential complications could be reoccurrence of cellulitis that could damage the lymphatic drainage system and cause chronic swelling of affected limb. Psoriasis is a condition that is caused by a buildup of dead skin cells that form scaly patches instead of shedding off.
Psoriasis is estimated to be prevalent in 7.5 million Americans. Symptoms of psoriasis are redness, itching, and thick, dry silvery scales on the skin.
Treatments are dependent on the extent and severity of psoriasis. It involves topical medications, analgesics, sedatives, intravenous fluids, retinoids, and antibiotics. A potential complication associated with psoriasis is arthritis. Due to psoriasis, it could cause joint damage that could possibly be debilitating.