We all love how the sun feels on our skin, and thus we go out more often when it's warm and sunny. Built within our skin is a protective cell that helps to prevent the "burn," and that is the melanocyte! As you can see from the sketch, this type of cell is found mainly at the bottom of the epidermal layer of our skin; do you see a line of gray, shaded tall skinny cells? That's the bottom of the epidermal layer.
The melanocyte produces the all-important melanin, a substance (pigment) that actually absorbs UV radiation. UV radiation therefore cannot alter/damage other things in its path.
The very interesting part is that when the UV rays actually do their damage to a skin cell, something amazing happens. This in turn has implications for treatment of other skin ailments, and which we'll cover in the next post!