Spot the dot: the skin from the perspective of a physiotherapist

(This post was created for and in collaboration with Spot The Dot entstanden. Spot The Dot is a foundation aiming to raise awareness for skincancer.)

Movement and all aspects that have to do with it are the core theme of physiotherapy. In this regard the skin isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. However, a human being is a complex system of various cycles and organ systems, all of which influence one another in some way. If you want to look at a person in his or her entirety, it is only logical to consider all systems of the body. The skin as the largest and most visible organ in the body is definitely one of them. So, let’s talk a little about the skin and why it is also very relevant for movement.

What do we need the skin for? It is obviously a protection against external mechanical stimuli, for example when falling, as sun protection, but also against pathogens. It is involved in certain functions of the immune system and therefore offers internal protection. The regulation of body temperature is another task the skin is involved in.  Besides all of that it has a function that I find very fascinating, especially when it comes to movement. In fact, the skin is a sensory organ. It is the area of contact with our immediate surroundings and provides us with information that is incorporated into the planning of movement. Without it we wouldn’t know when we are touching a hot stove. We would perceive a hug only in a dull way. And it would be way harder for us to carry out motor activities in a targeted manner, no matter if it’s everyday movements or other complex sequences of movements as you can see here with skateboarding or mountain biking.

So, it’s worth taking good care of your skin. This means wearing protective equipment and appropriate clothing during sports, applying sunscreen if you decide to expose yourself to UV radiation without a T-shirt. And this also includes having your moles checked regularly to detect potentially malignant changes on them early enough. Spot your dots, be faster than skincancer!

On the skateboard: Alexander Streicher

On the mountainbike: Klaus Zeiner

All photos: Paul Zeiner

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