Slide show: Sun damage
Image of damage to darker skin
Previous Next 2 of 10 Damage to darker skin

Melanin is the dark brown pigment in the top layer of skin (epidermis) that gives skin its color. This pigment protects the deeper layers of skin from sun damage. The more melanin in the skin, the darker the skin appears and the more protection it has against sun damage.

People with medium or dark complexions naturally have more protection than do people with lighter complexions. But they still can experience sun damage. This man's face shows signs of sun damage — increased areas of irregular pigmentation and wrinkles.

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