PLEASE GIVE A PEER RESPONSE TO ALL (3) DISCUSSIONS PERTAINING THE INTEGUMENTARY SYSTEM
Discussion # (1)
The skin has always been one of my favorite organs to study due, in part, to the fact that I have had sensitive skin for as long as I can remember. I would break-out from the slightest irritant, like pollen or a heavily scented lotion. Additionally, I would have “eczema” flare-ups that seemed to coincide with seasonal changes. And unfortunately, now that I have reached my late twenties, acne has become a new normal for me. For all of these reasons, I have questioned what made my skin so different from those who didn’t have these problems. So, I’d always ask my docs questions and look for solutions and natural remedies to try and help keep my skin calm. However, it was rare that my docs would have an answer or were able to provide anything other than a generic hydrocortisone cream to attempt to fix the issue. Below, I will be sharing some of the questions that I still have after reading chapter 5.
If eczema is “an allergic reaction that manifests as dry, itchy patches of the skin that resembles rashes”, why is it that my eczema generally flares up during or around seasonal changes (p. 203)? Could it be that it is not an allergic reaction at all, but instead change in the skin related to weather?
Is there some way to naturally counteract the over-activity of the sebaceous glands that causes acne? And why is it not enough to cleanse the skin twice a day, and even exfoliate?
This last one is a really weird, but mind-boggling, question that I’ve had for years. I understand that it is essential for everyone to get enough vitamin D, preferably by getting a little sunlight each day. I also understand that not getting enough vitamin D can cause rickets and bowed legs(p. 200). However, I have had really bowed legs since birth (the same as my mother and her father). When I have asked my docs in the past about this trait being hereditary, and not a biproduct of vitamin D deficiency, I’ve gotten paused looks. Seems hereditary to me. Anyway, thanks for letting me share.
Discussion # (2)
The topic I wanted to look further into as I was struggling with was Melanoma, specifically Melanoma that has metastasized. You hear about cancer spreading within the body and that is when it can get harder to treat, however, a basic understanding of cancer was not quite enough to get me to the point where I fully understood how that happens. At its most basic level cancer is when a cell does not function properly for the good of the body yet it continues to grow, divide, and take up the body’s resources until the rest of the body can no longer function well enough to survive.
Understanding how these non-functioning cells continue to grow and evade the body’s immune response was key to my understanding. Making the leap from a melanocyte within the skin that has altered DNA to a person’s death seemed like too far based on the text so I dug into some medical journals to deepen my understanding.
As cancerous cells continue to grow and divide they will form together and createa tumor micro-environment. This environment will createa buffer of cancerous cells that interfere with the body’s immune system on the outer edges to protect cancerous stem cells within the core of the tumor. These cancerous stem cells will, just like healthy stem cells, continue to divide and grow additional cancer cells to make the tumor grow despite losses on the periphery to the immune system. As the tumor micro-environment grows it will divert blood flow from normal body pathways into the tumor micro-environment in order to use more resources and spread. Once cancer cells are able to enter the circulatory system via blood flow then the cancer has begun to spread. Once cancerous cells are numerous enough, and the immune system has been weakened enough, cancerous stem cells will circulate in the blood and begin to form additional tumors within other organs throughout the body. Once this occurs it is called metastasis and this will eventually lead to death if not treated.
Discussion # (3)
I too had a number of questions about skin cancer this week and did a lot of digging to figure things out. During my reading I came across the medical journal I linked below which discusses the incidence rates of melanoma specifically across difference parts of the world and people of different skin color.
Darker skin color evolved closer to the equator to be more resistant to UV radiation and people of dark skin color are much less susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer than are people of lighter skin. They are not immune to skin cancer, however, I did not find anything in my reading to make me think that it is possible to be immune to any type of cancer. It was shown in this study that people of lighter skin tones are about ten times more likely to develop melanoma in their lifetime than somebody who has darker skin. Reaction to the sun also plays a part though as people in hot sunny parts of the world generally try to limit their sun exposure, whereas, people in far less sunny places do not limit their exposure in the same way if at all.