25 Feb Melanocytes – Part 8 of 12 of the One Skin Series
Learn About Melanocytes – Part 8 of 12 of the One Skin Series
- Melanocytes are the pigment producing cells of the epidermis.
- UV light increases the risk of developing melanoma, the cancerous form of melanocytes.
- They are located in the deepest layer of the epidermis, and are interspersed among the keratinocytes.
- There are approximately 1 melanocyte for every 10 keratinocytes, but each melanocyte protects 30-40 keratinocytes.
- They produce melanin granules, the primary pigment of skin, which form a protective cap over the nucleus of the keratinocytes.
- This protective cap inhibits damage to the nucleus caused by ultraviolet radiation.
- Melanin production leads to tans in dark skinned individuals and freckles in light skinned individuals.