THE IMPORTANCE OF MELANIN TO YOUR SKIN
Have you ever been wondering what is the importance of melanin on my skin? if that has been your question, then here is a good article for you to read
You see, understanding the role melanin actually plays on the skin can be a bit tacky to understand, but it is all going to be a lot clearer to you by the time you are done reading this post.
The major importance of melanin on your skin apart from being the determinant of the human skin colour is to pigment the keratinocytes.
How Your Skin Color Is Determine
You want to know What determines if someone has a fair or a dark skin? Then read on…
“MELANIN pigment production is called melanogenesis, and it is produced by the melanocytes present at the basal layer of the epidermis and by a cytoplasm organelle called melanosome. Melanin production has four phases directly correlated with the four stages of development of melanosomes, which starts with a spherical non-pigmented shape and evolve into full concentration of melanin.
The Melanin is distributed along microtubes and further on via melanocytes’s dendridic structures to keratinocytes that will pigment accordingly”
Interestingly, people with fair skin and and people with skin of colour usually has an approximately equal number of melanocytes, that is, they have the same capacity to produce melanin at the same rate.
However, the difference is just the stages of the melanosomes, the degree of pigmentation and the production rate which is usually higher in dark skinned and lower in light skinned people.
In some people, the melanin production is also very low while some dont even produce at all which is responsible for albinism.
Melanin is exactly what gives the black and brown pigmentation to the skin, eye and hair.
Types Of Melanin
It must interest you to know that skin pigmentation (i.e. skin colour, shade or tones) are as a result of a mixture of the two type of melanin present in your body namely:
- Eumelanin This is peculiar to darker skin and has enough capacity to give protection from the UV rays of the sun.
- Pheomelanin This is peculiar to Light Skin and very weak to give protection from damages caused by ultra violet radiation compared to eumelanin and makes the light skinned people to burn when exposed to the UV rays
In humans, there is a difference with the rate at which the skin produce melanin as a result of the temperature that is prevalent in the various part of the world.
What this means is that people who has their origin from countries where the temperature is very hot produces more melanin resulting into darker skin colour e.g
The African-Carribbean (dark skin) and Asian (light to brown tone with yellow undertone),. Hyper pigmentation is a major thing of concern common with these category of skin. Although producing melanin at this high rate is an advantage and protects the skin from the damaging effects of the UVrays.
People from countries with cooler temperature produces less melanin making them lighter in skin shade.
Caucasian – the skin colour of this population is white and has very little defense against UVrays and causes the skin to age faster.
The melanin production in the oriental skin category is a bit higher than that of the Caucasian.