A nurse is aware that the outer layer of the skin consists of dead cells that contain large amounts of keratin. The physiologic functions of keratin include which of the following? Select all that apply.

Answer Explanation: The dead cells of the epidermis contain large amounts of keratin, an insoluble, fibrous protein that forms the outer barrier of the skin. Keratin has the capacity to repel pathogens and prevent excessive fluid loss from the body. It does not contribute directly to antibody production, acidbase balance, or electrolyte levels.

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