Ah Melanin…..


Melanin is the substance that gives skin, eyes and hair their colour. It is found in most living things. It makes squid ink and crow feathers black. Those without melanin are albinos.

Even white people have melanin in their skin – just less of it. Some whites have so little melanin you can clearly see blue veins through their skin. A low-level of melanin causes eyes to look grey, green, blue or even violet.

Melanin protects human skin from sun damage. It blocks the sun’s ultraviolet rays, preventing sunburn and skin cancer. Melanin also keeps the sun from breaking down vitamin B9, thereby preventing birth defects. Tanning is where the skin produces more melanin to protect itself.

Melanin comes in four main colours: black, brown, yellow and red. Think hair colours.  When hair turns from black to grey to white it is losing its black melanin. The colours can…

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~ by Mbeti on March 23, 2013.

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