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Homework Help: Increased melanin production

  1. Jun 2, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Cells called melancytes that lie deep in the epidermis produce a pigenment, called melanin, that gives skin color. Exposure to ultraviolet light- from sun or tanning lamp-causes melanocytes to produce more melanin, which they pass along the skin above them, yielding suntan. But, why would sun exposure prompt this increased production? What is the function of a tan, in other words?

    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2008 #2
    i think a suntan acts as a protective measure. the darker the skin the better it will emit infra red radiation.
     
  4. Jun 4, 2008 #3
    True, melanin absorbs UV radiation.
    As for the tan, think what occurs when you get a tan.
    Remember melanin is a pigment, it changes the color of light it reflects.
     
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