Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!
(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)
Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.
And what better way to start your week, than by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?
So let’s get started this week by talking about a very important part of our bodies.
In the one hundredth and fourth episode of The Simpsons, Bart of Darkness (Season 06, Episode 01), a heat wave hits Springfield. Home comes up with the idea to add a tent to the fridge in order to keep cool. Unfortunately it fries the fridge motor. So the Simpsons have to make alternative arrangements.
After experiencing the city’s mobile pool and then learning it is only available one day per year, the Simpsons decide to purchase a pool. Their first attempt is unsuccessful as they end up building a barn instead of a pool. However, the second attempt is successful.
The pool makes them super popular as every kid in Springfield wants to go for a dip at their ‘best friend Bart or Lisa’s’ house (even though some of them don’t even know who Bart or Lisa are. Bart feels like Mr. Popular. But things take a turn when Nelson comment’s on Bart’s epidermis:
Nelson: “Hey Bart, your epidermis is showing!”
Bart: “It is?” (Bart looks in vain to find his ‘epidermis’ and loses his balance, falling from atop his Treehouse)
Nelson talking to Kearney as Bart falls: “You see, ‘epidermis’ means your hair. So technically it’s true; that’s what makes it so funny. Pardon me a moment, (looking at Bart:) Ha-ha!”
Milhouse: “Hey Nelson, he’s really hurt. I think he broke his leg.”
Nelson: “I said ‘Ha-ha!’”
Due to the epidermis comment, Bart has a broken leg and has to spend the summer in a cast.
Lisa gets Bart a telescope so he can at least enjoy astronomy while confined to his room. Bart uses the telescope to spy on neighbours.
Of particular interest is the Flanders house, after he hears a woman scream and sees Ned Flanders panicked and screaming about how he ‘murdered her’. Bart also sees Ned burying someone/something in his backyard and telling Rod and Todd that Maude has gone to be with God. But turns out Ned killed Maude’s favourite ficus plant by over watering it and buried it with the plan to replace it before Maude returns from Bible camp.
But have you ever wondered what the epidermis is that Nelson was referencing?
Your skin is organized in layers. Your skin has three main layers, and the epidermis is the outermost layer in your body. The other two layers of skin are the dermis and hypodermis. The epidermis is the thinnest layer of skin. It protects your body from harm, keeps your body hydrated, produces new skin cells and contains melanin, which determines the color of your skin.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the word ‘epidermis’ combines the Ancient Greek prefix epi-, which means ‘outer,’ and the Ancient Greek word derma, which means ‘skin’. So the word translates to ‘outer skin’.
The epidermis itself is composed of five sub-layers of its own:
The epidermis varies in thickness throughout your body. In areas of skin that experience a lot of use, like the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands, the epidermis is thicker. These areas can be as thick as 1.5 millimeters, which is about as thick as two credit cards stacked together.
The epidermis is thinner in other areas of your face. For example, the epidermis layer in your eyelids is about 0.05 millimeters thick, which is about as thick as a sheet of copy paper.
The epidermis contains different types of cells, including:
- Keratinocytes: Keratinocytes produce the protein keratin, which is the main component of the epidermis.
- Melanocytes: Melanocytes make your skin pigment, known as melanin.
- Langerhans cells: Langerhans cells prevent things from getting into your skin.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends the following tips to take care of your skin (epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis):
- Establish a skin care routine, and follow your healthcare professional’s recommendations for keeping your skin healthy.
- Use a mild soap for your bath or shower, and pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it. Apply a moisturizing cream or ointment immediately after drying your skin to help seal in the moisture. Reapply cream or ointment two to three times a day.
- Take baths or showers with lukewarm water, not hot water.
- Drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Water helps keep your skin moist.
- Eat antioxidant-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables, beans, fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and nuts.
- Avoid sudden changes in temperature and humidity.
- Limit your exposure to known irritants and allergens.
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
- Avoid scratching or rubbing irritated skin.
Now that we’ve learned more about the epidermis, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.
Did you remember the episode? What’s your favourite Bart-centric episode of The Simpsons? What about your favourite summer themed episode on The Simpsons? What’s your favourite The Simpsons medical reference? Did you remember the scene? Were you familiar with the epidermis? Have you been doing any of the tips recommended to take care of your epidermis? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.