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Melanin levels in different human skin types

Melanin levels in different human skin types

P710/0253

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Credit

H. RAGUET / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY H. RAGUET / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Skin types. Three women with different colours of skin, lit by ultraviolet light. The skin types are (from left to right): caucasian; black; and asian. Skin colour is determined by the amount of melanin pigment produced by special skin cells (melano- cytes). Melanin blocks the ultraviolet (UV) rays found in sunlight. UV can damage the skin, leading to ageing & cancers. Melanin production is stimulated by exposure to sunlight, leading to a darkening of the skin. People from ethnic groups which originated in hot areas of the world generally have higher levels of melanin. Photographed during research at the L'Oreal laboratory in Paris, France.

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