Discover what melanin is, its functions and what it is for
Melanin is fundamental for the natural protection of our skin, but it is not its only function. Discover what it is and what it consists of, and above all what it is for.
Melanin is an important pigment that is present in most animals, in the case of humans we can find it in the skin, hair, and eyes and it is what gives the color to each of these elements in our body.
But the melanin, in addition, to endow us with a certain degree of coloration also acts protecting our skin from the incidence of powerful ultraviolet solar rays, preventing the sun from burning our skin.
What are the functions of melanin in our skin?
In general, the main function of melanin in our skin is to provide it with color. But not only the skin, did you know that it also does the same with the hair as with the eyes?
However, the excess or lack of melanin in the body could have serious consequences at the dermatological level since it also functions as a protective layer. That is, in addition to providing tone or color, it also acts as a wonderful protective layer.
Melanin is an important component that in addition to determining the color of the skin, hair and eyes if not present can cause great sensitivity in the skin, as it acts as a protective layer to radiation.
The darker your skin, the lower the level of damage that solar radiation can cause in it. For this reason, there are different recommendations when applying them the blocker or sunscreen, depending on what is our skin type. So, for example, if our skin is rather white and burns easily, we should pay more attention to its application, putting it every so often and avoiding the sun at the riskiest times of the day (between 12 and 16 o’clock). hours).
How is melanin produced in the skin?
In the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, there is a certain amount of a cell type known as melaconite, which is responsible for the amount of melatonin that this organ can have, which in turn directly influences the tone of the skin. the skin.
While more melaconite finds in the skin, a greater amount of melatonin will be in the same one, reason why its color will be still more intense.
Depending on the number of these cells there are individuals with albino to black skin tones, all due to the production of molecules, which mostly varies according to a genetic process.
The different types of melanin
Although most people do not know it, there are different types of melanin acting on the skin, such as pheomelanin or eumelanin.
In case you wonder the eumelanin has as its main function to determine if a person will be albino or not since it is the most common in the skin and is found in great abundance in dark skins while it is practically non-existent in white shades.
In addition, this type of melanin is the same that can be found in the hair and therefore will be key in the color of it, placing it from a platinum blond to an intense black.
The other type of melanin in our body is the feeling, a pigment very common in our skin, but we can find especially in people with white skin or redheads.
Feelin is an extremely delicate pigment since prolonged sun exposure could cause your cells to become carcinogenic, for that reason very white or redheaded people should constantly use sunscreen.
Sunlight modifies melanin
Have you ever wondered why your skin color changes when exposed to sunlight? Well, it turns out that this important pigment reacts to the exposure of ultraviolet light, so when receiving solar radiation absorbs UV rays to minimize damage to the skin, which modifies its original color and makes it much more intense and dark.
However, this process has its positive aspect and is that it protects the skin and the body in general from suffering deep burns, although its prolonged exposure to the sun can cause an adverse reaction in the cells, turning them into carcinogens.
The lack of melanin and its consequences
When we have little melanin in the body the consequences are visible, a lack of extreme melanin occurs in the form of albinism, however, a considerable deficiency of it can also manifest as vitiligo, a condition that can reduce the existing pigment in certain areas of the body.
In addition, a lack of considerable melanin in the epidermis can cause the early appearance of gray hair, while its excess can trigger the appearance of age spots.