The sebaceous glands are essential components of the skin that secrete sebum, a waxy substance which plays an integral role in the skin’s functioning. While sebum has a number of different functions, not all of them are always associated with its production. This article will discuss the various functions of sebum, as well as identify which of them are not functions of the substance.
What is Sebum?
Sebum is a complex mixture of oils, fats, and hormones which is produced by the sebaceous glands. These glands are located in the dermis and secrete the substance through small pores in the skin which lead to the outer layer. The sebum produced is made up of lipids (such as triglycerides, wax esters, and free fatty acids) and other substances, including protein, sterol, cholesterol, and a variety of hormones.
Functions of Sebum
Sebum plays an important role in the functioning of the skin, providing it with a barrier against harmful elements such as bacteria, and protecting it from dehydration and drying out. In addition, sebum helps to keep the skin supple, as its composition helps to lubricate the skin and prevent it from cracking. Additionally, sebum helps to regulate temperature and maintains the natural pH levels of the skin.
Finally, sebum also has antioxidant and antibacterial properties, which help to protect the skin from damage caused by environmental factors, such as UV radiation and pollution.
The following is not a function of sebum: production of hormones. While sebum does contain hormones, it does not itself produce hormones. Production of hormones is instead the responsibility of the endocrine system.
In conclusion, sebum is an essential substance produced by the sebaceous glands that plays an important role in the functioning of the skin. It helps maintain the skin’s pH levels, regulate its temperature, and protect it from dehydration, drying out, and environmental damage. It also has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. However, it does not produce hormones, which is the responsibility of the endocrine system.