What Is Melanin?3 min read

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What is Melanin?

Skin is said to be the mirror of one’s inner body. If your body functions good, your skin will remain healthy and will look radiant. However, if your body isn’t functioning properly, your skin won’t look good either. But, due to external and internal factors, your skin will lose its moisture and become spotted. For you to know what’s going on with it and why such things happen, it’s important to know some things regarding the color of the skin and its main components.

Basically, there are 3 primary factors that contribute to the skin color of a person. One of these is melanin, which is a substance that provides the dark color. The other is carotene, which is actually responsible for yellowish tint, and the last one is the blood vessels that provide one’s skin with pink nuance.

Facts about Melanin

Melanin is produced by melanocytes and this is triggered by enzymes responsible for the coloring of the skin, eyes, and hair. This enzyme is also known as tyrosinase. The greater melanin production is, the darker your skin color.

Aside from influencing your skin color, melanin has the role of absorbing solar rays and protects your body from the impacts of UV rays. The amount of melanin is increased for effective protection whenever the skin is exposed to sun. It’s the time when tan skin appears. Usually, mild sunburns don’t have long term effects on your skin as damaged skin layers are regenerated and healthy and new skin replaces the damaged ones. However, severe sunburns may result in scars and oftentimes, in brown spots and dark patches of the skin that will remain on your skin for your whole life.

Melanin is present in many people with dark skin and only lesser quantities for those who have light skin. Therefore, people who have light skin are more prone to dark spots and sunburns caused by the sun than those who have dark skin. However, not only sun may increase melanin from one’s skin. Factors including hormonal imbalances, wounds, rashes, and pollution can also boost melanin from particular areas of your skin, making it anesthetic and darker.

Other Things to Know about Melanin

There are times that there’s focal increased melanin deposition and production creating a condition known as hyperpigmentation. Generally, people of color are at greater risk to developing hyperpigmentation because they have a number of melanocytes. Hyperpigmentation may be associated with particular diseases as well as medical conditions.

A special kind of hyperpigmentation on the face is referred to as melasma, which is caused by hormonal fluctuations. However, hyperpigmentation happens on a particular area of the body as a response to where your skin has been traumatized or injured through scrape, burn, cut or crush. It’s because when your skin is injured in any way, one of its automatic defense responses is gearing up an increase in the production of melanin. For this reason, some detect darkening of your skin and around the recovering parts or maturing scars. Any surgery stimulates this kind of process.

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