New research has shown that the pigment used to cover your skin has been found to be a key factor in causing skin lesions.
The pigment used is melanin, which is a compound made up of two hydrogen atoms bonded together and can be found in all living things.
It is present in the skin, hair, eyes and mucus membranes, as well as in the lining of the blood vessels.
The research has been published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
Researchers analysed samples of skin from 30 people with skin lesions ranging from deep ulcers to mild skin cancer and found that melanin was the most abundant and widespread ingredient found in skin lesions compared with other ingredients.
The most common ingredient in skin, which can be seen as red, yellow or purple, was melanin.
This is followed by sebum, which forms a protective coating around the skin’s surface.
The skin of most people has an average of 50 per cent melanin content, but in people with severe skin lesions the percentage drops to around 10 per cent, the researchers said.
The team also looked at the different components of skin and found a combination of melanin and sebum.
These two ingredients were the most important to cause lesions, the research found.
“The skin is one of the first areas where skin changes are most important,” said Dr. Jana Calkins, one of three lead authors of the study.
“It is the place where skin is at its most sensitive, where it is most sensitive to the effects of UV rays and the most sensitive in terms of the amount of UV light it receives.”
Dr Calkens said skin is also very sensitive to damage, which means it can suffer from the damage caused by infections.
“That can be caused by a variety of things and it can be skin cancer, acne, eczema, or even damage to the blood vessel walls, which are the places that are most sensitive,” she said.
“We also know that skin is a reservoir for the virus that causes many diseases, and so we know that if you are going to get skin lesions that are caused by an infection, it’s very important to have a lot of protection against that virus.”
Melanin was found to contribute significantly to skin lesions, and sebaceous oil was the only other ingredient found to cause the most skin damage, according to the research.
“This is a finding that has implications for skin care products,” said the lead author, Dr Daniel Atherton, an associate professor of dermatology at The Ohio State University.
“Our skin care product industry is dominated by the products that contain this pigmented material.
These are the ones that we are using as our primary treatment for acne and acne-related skin lesions.”
The study found that the use of skin care creams containing melanin in excess of 5 per cent led to the most frequent skin lesions in the study, with almost half of the skin lesions seen on people with the most severe skin lesion type.
However, the most common types of skin lesions were milder skin lesions and pigmented skin damage.
“While these skin lesions are very serious, it is not as common as the more severe skin diseases,” Dr Calkans said.
She said the finding that melanins and sebs are important in skin diseases may be a result of the fact that these skin cells have evolved to be able to use certain pigments to protect themselves from UV rays.
“If you’re looking at the skin of people with a lot more severe lesions, you might be looking at a person with melanoma,” she added.
“So it is possible that the pigmented pigment is used to protect against those more severe conditions.”
“If the melanin is being used to create these pigmented products, the skin is becoming more sensitive to UV rays, and therefore it is less effective at protecting against skin lesions,” Dr Athertons said.
He added that skin lesions often appear after a period of time, so they can’t be completely cured overnight.
“They’re not really permanent, but you can get them under control by going to a dermatologist and getting them checked out, and then they can be removed with a topical cream,” he said.
Dr Canchans said the research is an exciting step forward in understanding the causes of skin disorders.
“These findings have implications for our current understanding of skin conditions, which has been a subject of intense interest,” she noted.
“However, these results are not necessarily applicable to the majority of people because they’re using products that don’t contain melanin or sebs.”
There are many different skin conditions that can cause skin lesions; I hope the research continues to help people in their understanding of how their skin is affected by these skin conditions.
“The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the National Institutes of Research (NIH) and the University of New South Wales.