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

Melanin is the 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.

From Mayo Clinic to your inbox

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

See more Multimedia June 06, 2021