Thermoregulation and the Skin

  • W. I. Cranston
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 87 / 1)


Apart from its integumentary function, one of the principal functions of the skin is in thermoregulation. Central temperature depends upon the balance between heat production and heat loss, and, apart from a normally small contribution from the respiratory system, heat loss is entirely mediated by the skin. Two mechanisms contribute to this action: control of skin blood flow and thermal sweating. These mechanisms are to some extent interdependent: alteration of blood flow alone can influence heat loss, but sweating, and increased evaporative heat loss from skin, requires vasodilatation to provide water for evaporation and increased heat flow (and hence blood flow) to the skin surface.


Skin Temperature Sweat Gland Skin Blood Flow Sweat Rate Local Skin Temperature 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

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  • W. I. Cranston

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