What is melanin and why do we need it?

What is melanin and why do we need it?📖

When you contact with UV light your skin immediately calls for protection to avoid DNA damage. Your skin starts producing melanin, a pigment that absorbs UV radiation and acts as a strong antioxidant.

The protection capacity of melanin depends on its type. Black eumelanin is the strongest. Brunettes with darker skin tones are much better protected from the sun thanks to their type of eumelanin. Fair skinned blonds have brown eumelanin, which is much weaker, and redheads have pheomelanin, the one that provides almost no protection.

In other words, your suntan is the result of your skin trying to protect itself. Then why do we get pigmentation spots (and wrinkles!) instead of perfect golden tan?

Don’t rely much on melanin. Its protection capacity is limited, and protection mechanism is disrupted easily by external and internal factors.

 

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