Skin…It’s Got You Covered

If you were asked, which is the largest organ in your body… would you say it was the liver? The lungs?  Would you even consider your skin to be an organ?  It is, in actual fact, your largest organ and covers about 1.7 square meters (18 square feet in old money) of the human body.  It weighs about 9 pounds and contains more than 11 miles of blood vessels.

What’s the big deal about our skin?  This amazing organ is our first line of defence, our knight in skin-coloured armour, our human shield creating a barrier against the constant onslaught from our environment. It sends out the first SOS to the brain via the nerves that we’re being hurt which makes us move – double quick – away from further injury.  Our skin is the body’s natural heating and air-conditioning system and, under instruction from the brain, is always striving to maintain our core temperature either by sweating or shivering – regardless of whether we’re in the tropics or in the Antarctic.

Your skin is constantly fighting an epic battle on your behalf and if any harmful chemicals or bacteria make it through the protective layers of skin, they face the skin’s own immune hit squad which kill off most of these nasties. That said, we can and should do our bit by scrutinizing what we soak in and slap on especially when there is evidence which suggests that some ingredients in cosmetics may harm us and disrupt our hormone system; namely parabens and phthalates among others (see

Our amazing skin is also a barometer of our overall health.  It is an important organ of elimination and belongs to a group of organs including the lungs, kidneys, large intestine and liver, whose role is to help our body get rid of toxins and help prevent chemical waste build-up.  Drinking plenty of water, taking regular exercise and eating a well-balanced diet are all important ways of supporting your skin and the other organs of elimination.

As a Reflexologist, if I see a client with a skin condition, I always look at how the other organs of elimination are functioning and work these reflexes on the feet to try to help the skin.  The liver is the cleansing powerhouse of the body and if it is not doing its job of breaking down toxins efficiently, they must be eliminated from your body by other means – in many cases they may come out through your skin!*

Skin is also the organ of touch and as such is one of the most meaningful ways we connect with other people.  From a first handshake, to a warm hug, touch is an important means of communication and comfort. Reflexology is a touch therapy and this is one of the reasons it can be so effective in the healing process.


*It is always advisable to consult your GP if you are at all worried about any skin condition or problem