The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Temperature of a Healthy Human (Skin Temperature)

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Giancoli, Douglas C. Physics. 247 (problem 45). "Assume that the thickness of tissues is 4.0 cm, that the skin is at 34 °C and the interior at 37 °C and that the surface area is 1.5m2." 34 °C
Encarta Encyclopedia "Baths at skin temperature (about 37 °C/ 98.6 °F) are relaxing and sedative; those hotter or colder are stimulating." 37 °C
Freitas, Robert A. Jr. 8.4 Functional Navigation. ( Thermography of the Human Body.) Nanomedicine. "After 3 hours in a hot room (50°C), skin temperature differentials amounted to only 2.5°C (= 35°C to 37.5°C), with an average core/surface gradient of ~1°C. With normal clothing in a room at 15-20 °C, mean skin temperature is 32-35°C." 32–35 °C
Koehler, Kenneth R. Body Temperature Regulation. University of Cincinnati Raymond Walters College. "At room temperature, a person with 2 square meters of body surface area must (when nude) have a skin temperature of almost 32 C when the air is still. This is actually a pretty reasonable estimate." 32 °C
Thinsulate Insulation--Have You Checked Your Clo Lately? 3M. "In order to remain comfortable, the human body must maintain a skin temperature of 33 °C (91 °F) and be in thermal equilibrium with the environment." 33 °C
Surviving Denali: Cold Toes. NOVA (June 7, 2000). PBS. "Once we got to camp I measured the temperature of my big toe and found it to be 42°F! Yet in spite of the frigid temperature, I still had feeling in my toes. At the same time my chest temperature was a balmy 88°F." 6 °C
31 °C

The skin is the largest organ in the human body. It protects the body from the sun's rays. It also keeps body temperature normal (37 °C).

Skin temperature depends on air temperature and time spent in that environment. Such weather factors as wind chill and humidity cause changes in skin temperature. The normal temperature of skin is about 33 °C or 91 °F. The flow of energy to and from the skin determines our sense of hot and cold. Heat flows from higher to lower temperature, so the human skin will not drop below that of surrounding air, regardless of wind. If a person was to be in a warm room and her skin temperature was cooler than the air, her skin temperature would rise. The opposite would happen in a cold room and warm skin temperature. The person's temperature would decrease. Humans fight air temperature by becoming warm or cold. When warm, they sweat. When cold, they get chills.

On a trip during a windy and snowy day, a man recorded his skin and body temperature while climbing a mountain. The skin temperature of his toe was about 15 °C. At the same time, the temperature of his chest was 32 °C. This shows that different parts of the body have different skin temperatures.

Abanty Farzana -- 2001

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