Skin is the largest organ in the body. Our skin performs the immensely important function of providing a barrier between ourselves and our environment. Recent research shows that much of the reason that skin is so effective in this regard is because it resists tearing even under extreme stress. Using x-ray beams that enabled them to observe the microscopic changes that occur in tearing skin, researchers saw that collagen fibers in the dermis (the lower or inner layer of the two main layers of cells that make up the skin) straighten and stretch in response to tearing. By sharing the load in this manner, collagen fibers prevent further damage when a skin tear occurs. Our skin is a truly remarkable organ that deserves our appreciation and attention. Dermatologists diagnose and treat more than 3,000 different diseases and can also improve the appearance of their patient’s skin, hair and nails.