HL 2 Biology

6.3 Defense Against Disease

~DBQ: Skin pH (p.227)~

1) The skin pH of neonates is greater than that of adults for all areas of the body listed in figure 4. The lowest skin pH of neonates is visible in the back at pH of 6.6, where as for adults, the lowest skin pH is visible in the forearm and forehead at about 5.5 pH.

2) The adult skin pH might be established to have a lower skin pH due to the more risks to the colonization of bacteria on their skin. As bacteria increase, the acid produced through the process of metabolism cause the pH level to decrease.

3) The use of soaps might have a more irritating effect on the skin of a neonate because the general pH of the neonate’s skin is close to the pH of 7, which indicates a neutral position it holds. Since soaps are basic, using soap will cause the pH to increase and reach to a level of irritation.

4) The basic soaps might undermine the skin’s defensive function because the soap could increase the pH of the normal skin, causing the adequacy of the skin’s defensive function. Also, using basic soap may increase the growth of pathogenic bacteria as the soap may decrease the pH level of the skin which forms a more basic environment, in which bacteria may favor more.

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