The skin is a large, complex organ that covers the external surface of the body. Properties of the skin cause it to resist colonization by most microbial pathogens, pose a physical barrier to infection, provide sensory input from the environment, and assist the body's regulation of temperature and fluid balance.
■ Give three routes by which microorganisms invade the skin.
■ Give four characteristics of skin that help it resist infection.
■ Would a person living in the tropics or in the desert have larger numbers of bacteria living on the surface of their skin?
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