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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Sometimes a mom’s intuition is all it takes to get her child to the right physician. When 8-year-old Xavion Chisley developed a fungal infection on his toe, his mother, Nikki, immediately took him to see a dermatologist who removed his toenail to treat the infection. However, when Xavion’s toenail grew back, the infection had not diminished but actually appeared to be spreading to his foot.
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Impetigo is a superficial infection of the skin caused by bacteria. The lesions are often grouped together, have a red base, and are open but close over to form a honey-colored crust.
Ticks are small insects that live in grass, bushes, wooded areas, and seashores. They attach their bodies onto a human or animal host and prefer hairy areas such as the scalp, behind the ear, in the armpit and groin, and also between fingers and toes.
A laceration is tear or opening in the skin caused by an injury.
Toxic epidermal necrolysis is a life-threatening skin disorder characterized by blistering and peeling of the skin.