Here are a few facts you might not know about your skin. . .

Skin is your body’s largest organ.

Globally, dead skin accounts for about a billion tons (10+09) or 1 trillion pounds (10+12) of dust in the atmosphere. Your skin sheds 50,000 cells every minute— that’s 72,000,000 cells (10+07) each day and 26,280,000,000 cells (10+10) each year.

The skin secretes up to three gallons of sweat a day in hot weather. The areas that don’t sweat are the nail bed, the margins of the lips, the tip of the penis, and the eardrums.  The size of one adult secretory coil is approximately 10-03 cubic micrometers.

Not everyone can be fingerprinted.  Two rare genetic defects—Naegeli syndrome and dermatopathia pigmentosa reticularis—can leave skin smooth, with no identifying ridges at all.

Up until the 17th century, men who dressed “in the buff” referenced English soldiers and the leather tunics they wore.  The expression’s later meaning, which is, of course, to be nude, stems from the similarity between the color of the tunics and the soldiers’ light brown or yellowy skin color. The Phrase Finder explains that “This was first recorded by Thomas Dekker, in his work Satiro-mastix or the untrussing of the humorous poet, 1602. In this he likens ‘in buff’ to ‘in stag’, which was a commonly used term for naked in the 17th century.”

“White skin appeared a mere 20,000 to 50,000 years ago [10+04], as dark-skinned humans migrated to colder climates and lost much of their melanin pigment.”

“The Cleveland Public Library, Harvard Law School, and Brown University all have books clad in skin stripped from executed criminals or from the poor.”

Hats off to Discover Magazine for these fun facts.

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