The Body’s biggest organ

Of all the organs in your body, the skin is the largest. It is also one of the most important.

Your skin covers your entire body and has a surface area of almost two square metres. Its depth and texture change from one part of your body to the next, depending on the type of protection and support it needs to provide. For instance, while the skin covering your eyelids is only 0.5mm thick, the skin on the soles of your feet is much sturdier at 4mm.

In total, your skin accounts for around 16 per cent of your body weight.

The skin is the largest organ in the body and the part of us that is regularly exposed to the external environment.  Small amounts of sunlight will increase vitamin D levels and keep your bones healthy, but spending too much time in the sun exposes the skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation which may cause sun damage  and lead to skin cancer.

Did you know?

  • Many cases of skin cancer can be prevented by simply taking care in the sun. Reduce you risk by following the Irish Cancer Society SunSmart code
  • Cover up - Wear a t-shirt, long shorts and a hat that gives shade to the face, back of neck and ears
  • Seek shade - Especially from 11am to 3pm
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses - Make sure they give UV protection
  • Wear sunscreen - Using sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and UVA protection

More information on the Irish Cancer Society website


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