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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


Melanin

Alternative Names

Skin pigment

Information

Melanin is a natural substance that gives color (pigment) to:

  • Hair
  • Skin
  • The iris of the eye

It is produced by cells in the skin called melanocytes.

Melanin also helps protect the skin from the sun.

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Melanin

References

Moore KL, Torchia MG. Development of eyes and ears. In: Moore KL, Torchia MG, eds. The Developing Human. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 18.

Young B, O'Dowd G, Woodford P. Skin. In: Young B, O'Dowd G, eds. Wheater's Functional Histology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2014:chap 9.