Aussies know little of skin functions

January 12, 2011

Only 25 percent of Australian adults over 40 were able to identify the skin as an organ without prompting, Australia’s HeraldSun.com.au reports.

Sydney - Only 25 percent of Australian adults over 40 were able to identify the skin as an organ without prompting, Australia’s HeraldSun.com.au reports.

Of the 1,200 Australians quizzed by global healthcare consulting firm Kantar Health, many perceived the skin as being less important than the heart, lungs, liver, brain, stomach and kidneys. Nearly 60 percent said they believe that the skin's main function is protective, while only 22 percent identified its role in regulating temperature.

Only 3 percent knew the skin is a sensory organ.

HeraldSun.com.au quotes Stephen Shumack, M.D., a consultant dermatologist at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital, as saying that Australians should be more aware of their skin’s life-sustaining role.

“Our skin is our first line of defense against damaging sunlight, unsafe chemicals, extremes of temperature, harmful bacteria and other organisms we encounter every minute of every day. However, it is also easily damaged and disfigured. Australians need to start protecting it accordingly, so that it functions as well as possible and ages as it should, not before its time.”