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Protect your skin from UV rays
How melanocyte protects your skin from the sun
A melanocyte is a skin cell that produces melanin. It’s the brown skin pigment that protects the skin from UV rays. When the skin is exposed to the sun melanin production increases, which gives you that glowing tan. There are two major types of melanin: eumelanin, a dark brown pigment and pheomelanin, an orange-red pigment. People with darker skin tend to have eumelanin color, so their skin defends itself better against UV rays. However, people with fairer skin (pheomelanin color) need to protect the skin better in comparison at the risk of damaging or burning their skin.
Human skin comes in a variety of shades and it is important to keep in mind the level of melanin your body produces. Regular sun exposure increases the production levels of melanin. It’s how your body naturally defends and protects the skin from the intense sun UV rays. Sun exposure stimulates the body to produce more melanin to protect your skin cells. However, if melanin production cannot keep up, the UV rays can cause some severe damage. Overexposure, when melanin production does not work correctly, can lead to skin cancer.
How can you protect yourself against UV rays?
Although the melanocytes protect your skin, you need to take precautions when your body is exposed to long periods in the sun. Our cells are not adapted for prolonged sun exposure. Extended exposure to UV rays can leave the body in shock. Different layers of the skin start to burn, though you may not feel it, which is what makes it so dangerous. Additionally, burnt skin can lead to significant hair loss. This loss is not immediately visible. You’ll start to notice hair loss only after a few weeks.
Protecting your skin from the sun is, therefore, extremely important. One of the most best things you can do is to make use of a hat or headpiece and put on sunscreen suitable for your skin type. If you enjoy outdoor sports like running, cycling, or swimming, you may not feel the direct effects of the intense sun since you are moving. It is a common misconception that UV rays are only present or harmful in summer months; to the contrary, UV rays can reach us at any time of the year. Sun reflects off water and can even reach the ground when you’re feeling cool in the wind. These moments are dangerous, and you need to protect your skin – even in the most unlikely of situations.
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