By Smarty — One of many Pet Health blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com
The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin that is clearly visible. The cells that are responsible for the production and maintenance of the epidermis are known as melanocytes, keratinocytes, and Langerhan's cells.
The epidermis is formed by through mitosis that occurs on the innermost layers. These new cells replace the old cells, effectively pushing the old cells outward. As these cells are pushed, they are filled with keratin through a process known as keritinization. This is the reason that skin cells are constantly shed.
The skin is the most obvious component of the immune system. The skin effectively acts as a barrier, preventing access of harmful agents into the body. Healthy skin that is not damaged is generally impermeable to harmful agents such as viruses and bacteria. The skin is also comprised of specific cells, known as Langerhan's cells, responsible for the secretion of small amounts of antibacterial substances. It is these secretions that are responsible for the timely death of many harmful agents. Skin that is not properly cared for can leave your pet more susceptible to infections.
When skin is not properly cared for, this can leave the body in a state that is more susceptible to infection by pathogenic organisms. The dead skin that is produced on a daily basis must be cleaned away. When the skin is dirty in excessive amounts, the skin is more easily damaged and it becomes more difficult for the body to secrete the natural antibacterial compounds. If you are concerned about the skin care of your pet, consult your veterinarian.
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