The Remarkable Life of theSkin : An Intimate Journey Across Our Largest Organ.

by Lyman, Monty,

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 612.79 Lym
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  612.79 Lym
Northern Tier Regional Library Health HEALTH 616.5 LYMAN
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
Collection  Health
Call Number  HEALTH 616.5 LYMAN
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 612.79 L98
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  612.79 L98

A fascinating exploration of the skin in its multifaceted physical, psychological, and social aspects

Providing a cover for our delicate and intricate bodies, the skin is our largest and fastest-growing organ. We see it, touch it, and live in it every day. It is a habitat for a mesmerizingly complex world of micro-organisms and physical functions that are vital to our health and our survival. It is also a waste removal plant, a warning system for underlying disease and a dynamic immune barrier to infection. One of the first things people see about us, skin is crucial to our sense of identity, providing us with social significance and psychological meaning. And yet our skin and the fascinating way it functions is largely unknown to us.

In prose as lucid as his research underlying it is rigorous, blending in memorable stories from the past and from his own medical experience, Monty Lyman has written a revelatory book exploring our outer surface that will surprise and enlighten in equal measure. Through the lenses of science, sociology, and history--on topics as diverse as the mechanics and magic of touch (how much goes on in the simple act of taking keys out of a pocket and unlocking a door is astounding), the close connection between the skin and the gut, what happens instantly when one gets a paper cut, and how a midnight snack can lead to sunburn--Lyman leads us on a journey across our most underrated and unexplored organ and reveals how our skin is far stranger, more wondrous, and more complex than we have ever imagined.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Our skin is much more than organic bubble wrap that keeps our "insides" safely where they belong. Given its many functions beyond protection and insulation, physician Lyman dubs human skin the "Swiss Army knife of the organs." The body's largest and most vulnerable organ, skin actively participates in temperature regulation, vitamin D synthesis, fluid balance, energy storage, immune function, and sensation. Lyman covers the relationship between diet and skin, touch, the sun's effect on skin, the changes age brings, and skin's role in identity. One notable chapter, "Skin Safari," will make your skin crawl as it reviews the many minuscule critters (the integumentary microbiome and possible parasites) that call your epidermis "home," including many species of bacteria and fungi, and, on occasion, head lice, Demodex mites, and scabies (one of the itchiest occupiers). Common dermatological diseases are deftly discussed, such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, and skin cancers. Intriguing topics--blushing, the perception of pain, fingerprints, pruritus (severe itching), and tattoos--are investigated. Tantalizing tidbits of information abound: You shed more than a million skin cells daily, which make up about half the dust in your house. Skin regenerates every four weeks. The many wonders of skin are superbly detailed in Lyman's thoughtful, informative treatise."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Lyman, a doctor of acute general medicine, presents a panoramic view of human skin in his excellent debut. Lyman discusses a plethora of skin ailments, from acne to leprosy, and describes the ideal skin care regimen (using sunscreen, abstaining from smoking, and eating a balanced diet high in fruits and veggies that contain the carotenoid pigment). To illustrate that skin is, as one chapter's title has it, "The Swiss Army Organ," Lyman shares fascinating information about its intricate workings, describing how the four kinds of "mechanoreceptors," highly sensitive and specialized cells, work together to create the ability to touch and feel. He goes beyond medicine and biology, however, to discuss how skin shapes and defines identity. In addition to touching on race, in terms of how naturally occurring variations in human pigmentation have taken on outsize significance, Lyman examines the marks that people make on themselves, such as the Tā moko tattoos of the Maori, which encode detailed familial and personal histories. Whether one's interests are in science and medicine, or in sociology and anthropology, there is something for a wide range of readers in Lyman's skillful work. Agent: Charles Viney, Viney Agency. (June)Correction: An earlier version of this review incorrectly referred to the author as a dermatologist."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects catreq 08/15/20 6n
Publisher Atlantic Monthly Press,2019
Edition First Grove Atlantic hardcover edition : June 2020.
Description xvii, 283 pages : illustrations ; 24cm
ISBN 9780802129406.
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