Name: Richardo Cossyleon
Why doesn't the sun affect or burn people with dark pigment
in their skin?
The pigment, melanin, is more toward the surface of the upper skin
layer and absorbs ultraviolet rays from the Sun or artificial sources.
This absorption protects the lower layers from damage and inflammation
(burning). A very dark skinned person may have over a 1000X the
protection from UV compared to a fair skinned person. Fair skinned
people should use sun-block lotions especially early in the warm season
AND keep exposure to the sun, particularly at midday, to less than 30 min.
Even if a person gets a good tan, the sun's UV will age the skin over time.
It will get wrinkled and develop age lines, etc. after many years of
exposure. Moderation is the key!
Click here to return to the Biology Archives
Update: June 2012