Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It has several important roles:

  • To protect your body from injury and keep out infections
  • To control your body temperature and keep in water
  • To protect your body from harmful effects of sunlight – especially Ultraviolet or UV radiation.

Your skin has 2 main layers – the Epidermis and Dermis.  The upper layer, or Epidermis, is made up of different types of cells:

  • Squamous cells – these are the top layer of skin cells
  • Basal cells – these form the base or foundation of your skin
  • Melanocytes – these provide the pigment or colour of your skin, hair and eyes.

picture of skin layers

The typical number of melanocytes in your skin is between 1000 and 2000 cells per square millimeter of skin. WOW! The difference between fair people and dark people is not the amount of melanocytes, but how active the melanocytes are.

DID YOU KNOW……Albinos lack an enzyme, tyrosinase, that is required for melanocytes to produce melanin. 

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