Temperature Regulation

The skin is the largest organ of the human body and covers the entire body. The skin contains many layers that aid in various processes, one such process is temperature regulation.

Temperature regulation of the body is a form of homeostasis where a constant internal environment is maintained despite external factors. Many times the body gets too hot or too cold. When this happens, the body must adjust to maintain a steady state.

When the body temperature rises

Arterioles in the skin dilate, allowing increased blood flow and more loss of heat by radiation. Sweating also occurs when the body temperature rises. Sweat is then evaporated from the skin causing a cooling effect due to the loss of heat from the body. Heat is lost from sweating because the body provides the latent heat of vaporization needed for sweat to evaporate.

When the body temperature falls

Arterioles in the skin contract causing less blood flow and less heat to be lost by radiation. This stops the process of sweating. The body also generates heat through muscular shivering.

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