Integumentary System

The integument describes the outer covering of the body, which provides protection and acts as the first line of defense against the environment and germs. The integumentary system includes the skin, hair, claws, footpads, and sebaceous, sweat and mammary glands. The skin, hair, claws and footpads are largely protective against external factors from the environment, fluid loss and the entry of harmful substances and invading microorganisms.   Sweat glands help control the body temperature and assist with waste excretion. Sebaceous glands help keep the skin moist. Additionally, nerve receptors in the skin provide information about touch, heat, cold and pain.