The integumentary system comprises the skin, hair, and nails. Although we seldom think of the skin as an organ, it is the largest and one of the most complex organs of the body. Composed of three layers—epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue—the skin performs several vital functions, including
• Protection against infection
• Prevention of fluid and electrolyte imbalance
• Regulation of temperature
• Activation of vitamin D
The hair and nails are extensions of the keratin-producing epidermal layers of the skin.
Evaluation of the integumentary system reveals much about the client’s overall state of health and well being. This chapter reviews some of the common infections affecting ...