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The Dangers of Integumentary System Diseases

written by: MandaSpring • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 11/19/2009

Discover what the integumentary system is and the diseases that can affect it. This article is designed to show the various integumentary system diseases as well as the causes and symptoms.

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    What is the Integumentary System?

    The integumentary system is the largest organ system of the body. It is the organ known as the skin. There are many functions and purposes that this system serves. If you think about all that the integumentary system encompasses, it truly is an amazing system. Not only does it protect our internal systems, but it senses pain, excretes waste and toxins, regulates temperature, plays a vital role in vitamin D synthesis, and so much more. Because of this wide variety of functions, integumentary system diseases can be very harmful.

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    What are Integumentary System Diseases?

    Acne is one of the most common integumentary system diseases. The rash of pimples can be located anywhere on the body and are generally painful. Swelling, redness and eruptions occur.Of course most often they are confined to the facial area.

    Athlete’s Foot and other such fungus conditions are also known as integumentary system diseases. Fungi spread throughout the affected skin and can cause redness, itching, burning, blisters and dryness. This infection spreads rapidly and thrives on warm, damp feet.

    Dermatitis is a general description of skin inflammation. It typically starts out as an itchy rash and spreads while increasing the swelling and redness.This is a common condition and it is easily treated.

    Psoriasis is another common integumentary system disease. This is a long term or chronic problem that is distinguished by the lesions and scabs. The lesions tend to be red and inflamed while the scabs are generally white in color.

    Warts are integumentary system diseases which are characterized by the small round growths that appear. This is typically caused by a viral infection and can be contagious. Some can be painful when located on the feet but on average they are merely unattractive and can be removed safely.

    Alopecia Areata is not one of the more common integumentary system diseases. This particular condition is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles. This can lead to baldness.

    One of the more serious of integumentary system diseases is skin cancer. There are many causes, one of which is too much sun exposure, another is genetic. Basil cell carcinoma is the most frequent type plaguing people today. It is the least cancerous, but it tends to spread throughout the body.