Epidemiological data strongly support the photoprotective role of melanin as there exists an inverse correlation between skin pigmentation and the incidence of sun-induced skin cancers (1) and subjects with White skin are approximately 70 times more likely to develop skin cancer than subjects with Black skin (67).
UVA radiation causes lesions or DNA damage to melanocytes, which are the skin cells that produce the skin pigment known as melanin. Melanin is a protective pigment in skin, blocking UV radiation from damaging DNA and potentially causing skin cancer.
Does melanin affect cancer?
Melanin does confer some natural protection against the risk of skin cancers from UV, but everyone, of any complexion, is still at risk for sun-related skin cancers. So yes, sometimes there’s a false sense of immunity because of increased melanin.
Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, develops in the cells (melanocytes) that produce melanin — the pigment that gives your skin its color. Melanoma can also form in your eyes and, rarely, inside your body, such as in your nose or throat.
Why is skin cancer more common in lighter skin tones?
Skin cancer is more common in fair skinned people because they have less of the protective pigment called melanin. People with darker skin are less likely to get skin cancer.
Why is melanin important to the skin?
Melanin helps protect the cells of the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin, from UV light. This protection extends to all forms of UV light (UVC, UVB, and UVA) as well as blue light. It does this by absorbing the UV light before it’s able to damage the sensitive DNA of the skin cells.
Can you live without melanin?
Melanin is a vital pigment producing compound responsible for determining the colour of skin and hair. A deficiency in melanin can lead to several disorders and diseases. For example, a complete absence of melanin causes a condition called albinism.
Does skin cancer have black dots?
Of all skin cancer-related deaths, 79% are from melanoma. In this disease, cancer develops in cells (melanocytes) that produce skin pigmentation. A black or brown spot appears, typically, on the torso of males and lower legs of females.
How does melanin decrease?
Sunscreen and sun exposure
The purpose of melanin is to protect your skin from sun damage. When you’re exposed to the sun, your skin creates even more melanin. Wearing sunscreen will limit this process. Sunscreen protects the skin from UV rays, which slow down your melanin production.
What happens if you have too much melanin?
If your body makes too much melanin, your skin gets darker. Pregnancy, Addison’s disease, and sun exposure all can make your skin darker. If your body makes too little melanin, your skin gets lighter. Vitiligo is a condition that causes patches of light skin.
What is the difference between melanin and melanoma?
Melanoma is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes. Other names for this cancer include malignant melanoma and cutaneous melanoma. Most melanoma cells still make melanin, so melanoma tumors are usually brown or black. But some melanomas do not make melanin and can appear pink, tan, or even white.
Can pigmentation cancerous?
Pigmentation traits, including fair skin, red or blonde hair, blue or green eyes, and freckles, are known risk factors for skin cancer, owing in part to the ability of darker pigmentation to protect skin from the sun’s damaging effects.
Does all skin have melanin?
Melanin is a natural skin pigment. … Everyone has the same number of melanocytes, but some people make more melanin than others. If those cells make just a little bit of melanin, your hair, skin and the iris of your eyes can be very light. If your cells make more, then your hair, skin, and eyes will be darker.
What type of skin is more prone to skin cancer?
Individuals with skin types I and II face the highest risk of developing skin cancer, while types V and VI are at the lowest risk. That is because those with more pigmentation have more natural protection from the sun. However, people with darker skin can still get skin cancer.
What skin color is most likely to get skin cancer?
People with light skin are much more likely to have their skin damaged by UV rays (and to get skin cancer), but darker-skinned people, including people of any ethnicity, can also be affected. For some people, the skin tans when it absorbs UV rays.
What are the main causes of skin cancer?
Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. To lower your risk of getting skin cancer, you can protect your skin from UV rays from the sun and from artificial sources like tanning beds and sunlamps.