Melanin is a skin pigment. It occurs in both humans and animals, and is what makes hair, skin, and eyes appear darker. Melanin is a protective barrier against UV radiation.Studies have shown that there is a lower incidence of skin cancer in those people who have darker skin compared to those who have lighter skin. Here are some must know things about melanin for Therapists.
- Melanin is a pigment that is produced by cells known as melanocyte cells. There are two basic types of melanin – eumelanin (brown/black) and pheomelanin (orange/red).
- When it comes to producing melanin there are many stages of chemical processes that is involved. This process is known as melanogenesis.
- This process begins in an organelle called melanosomes. There are four stages to the development of pigment in the melanosome.
- Tyrosinase is a copper-containing enzyme and is responsible for the first stage in melanin production. It converts tyrosine to another compound called dopaquinone.
- Melanin is also found in parts of the brain, this melanin is known as Neuromelanin.
Pigmentation is one of the most sort after treatments. Understanding melanogenesis will help determine correct treatment pathways.
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