Tactile cells

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 20.11.2021

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The most mysterious cells of the epidermis are Merkel cells. They are responsible for the tactile sensitivity of the skin, so they were called tactile cells. Most of Merkel's cells are found in sensitive areas of the skin - on the palms, feet, in erogenous zones. Merkel cells are located at the base of the depressions of the dermoepidermal junction and are connected to neurons. 

Earlier it was believed that the task of Merkel's cells is simple - to perceive the signal. Now it turned out that tactile cells are not just receivers of sensations. In response to the stimulation of the Merkel cells, a whole series of hormones and hormone-like substances are thrown out. These substances affect the mood (endorphins and enkephalins), stimulate the immune system cell, affect the vascular tone, calcium metabolism, etc. Recent studies have opened the veil of secrecy over the therapeutic effects of acupuncture and acupressure. It turns out that the moderate irritant effect in the areas of Merkel cells accumulation has a powerful immunostimulating effect on the whole organism.

There is more and more data that allows us to assert that all skin cells are closely connected, forming a single community. The connections between the cells are so complex and varied that anyone - mechanical, physical or chemical - affecting the skin, affecting the cellular elements, can have completely unexpected consequences.

Thus, the cells of Langerhans extend their processes to the uppermost layers of the epidermis, which means that they are accessible to external influences. On the other hand, they can go into the dermis and interact there with other cells. Langerhans cells exchange signal molecules with keratinocytes, leukocytes, Merkel cells, fibroblasts, which in turn also exchange signals with each other. The existence of complex interconnections in such a vast cellular state as the skin, opens before cosmeticology endless horizons, but at the same time puts into its hands a serious weapon that it is important to take advantage of.

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