Skin color is determined by pigment (melanin) made by specialized cells in the skin called melanocytes. The amount and type of melanin determines a person's skin color.
Melanin gives color to the skin, hair, and the iris of the eyes. Levels of melanin depend on race and amount of sunlight exposure. Sun exposure increases melanin production in order to protect the skin against harmful ultraviolet rays. In addition, hormonal changes can affect melanin production.
The Division of Dermatology at Children's National Health System continues to expand services as more families seek our expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the skin, hair, and nails.
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Seborrheic dermatitis, also known as cradle cap, is characterized by fine white scales on the head and scalp.
Sunburn is a visible reaction of the skin's exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, the invisible rays that are part of sunlight.
Skin parasites are small insects or worms that burrow into the skin to live there or lay their eggs.