Melanin – Primary determinant of human skin colour

Melanin is the pigment that gives colour to our skin, which is influenced by the flow of blood in our body. Melanin is mainly found in skin and hair. It not only exists in human being, but it is even found in plants and animals. It is the most important factor which determines the colour of the skin. If the content of melanin in a person's skin is in profound quantity, then the skin colour of the person is dark. Whereas, less degree of melanin content in the skin can actually makes the skin colour lighter.

It even acts as a sunscreen and protects the skin from UV rays of sun. Those people living near equator belt have more melanin content in their skin because of the strong rays of sun than those staying near poles. So, people residing near Arctic and Antarctic region have fair skin than those staying near equator. A cell named melanocytes produce melanin. Basically, melanin is made up of small molecules having different proportions and bonding which result in different types of melanin. Pheomelanin and eumelanin are the two types of melanin found in our body. Fair skin have abundant amount of pheomelanin in their skin. Whereas, eumelanin are basically found among the dark skinned people.

Melanin deficiency may leads to genetic disorders like albinism. Whereas dark people with high percentage of melanin in their skin can able to protect sunlight, thus high exposure of sunlight in their body would never stimulate liver to produce sufficient amount of Vitamin D. So dark people can suffer more with Vitamin D deficiency than fair skinned people.

About the Author

Kunal Rajawat is contributing the author for Fair And Handsome.

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