6.3 Defense Against Disease

13/11/2013 § Leave a comment


Page 227, skin pH

1. Compare the skin pH of neonates and adults. –> The skin of neonates generally have a higher pH level than that of adults. Adults’ skin has pH levels ranging between 5.5 to about 5.9 while neonates’ skin has pH levels ranging slightly above or below pH level 7.

2. Suggest how the adult skin pH might be established. –> Adults have thicker and tougher skin than infants which would provide more protection. Also, adults’ skin could have developed to become more acidic (lower pH) to protect from certain microorganisms.

3. Suggest why the use of soaps (which are basic) might have a more irritating effect on the skin of a neonate. –> Neonates already have a neutral level of pH (at around pH level 7) and adding substances that are more basic would harm their skin.

4. Deduce how basic soaps might undermine the skin’s defensive function. —> If there is bacteria on our skin, basic soaps could be used to kill that bacteria but overusing it would eventually result in our dependence of the substance and harm our skin.

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