The skin of your hand is not like the skin on any other part of your body. It is specially tough and elastic. When you squeeze something, the skin on the back of your hand stretches, while the skin on your palm draws together.
Under the thick skin of the palm is a layer of fat. The fat protects blood vessels and other important parts inside the hand.
Examine your fingertips and your palms to see the many little ridges in the skin. These ridges help you to feel. When they touch something, the nerves in them tell your brain whether it cold or hot, rough or smooth. A piece of finger skin smaller than a stamp has millions of nerve ends in it.
Inside your hand, tough cords called tendons join the muscles to the bones. The tendons control the movement of your fingers. Other cords, called ligaments, hold the bones together at their joints. Around the joints is a thick fluid that helps your fingers move smoothly.
Cold weather makes trouble for your hands because of their many joints. Warm blood keeps your muscles warm, but there is no blood in the joints of your fingers. In freezing weather, bare fingers quickly get so cold that they are painful. Also, they get stiff because cold thickens the fluid around the joints.
Because hands do so much and touch so many things, they are often hurt. The many bones, tendons, muscles, and nerves make them liable to injury.
Thick skin helps protect hands from harmful germs. But sometimes a deep scratch or cut does get through the skin. It is important to treat such an injury right away.
Without hands, we work, play, learn, and make things. Our wonderful hands help to lift us above all other living things; we should take good care of them.