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Melanin

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.

References

Bolognia JL, Orlow SJ. Melanocyte biology. In: Bolognia JL, Schaffer JV, Cerroni L, eds. Dermatology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 65.

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.

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  • Melanin - illustration

    Melanin is the natural substance that gives color (pigment) to hair, skin, and the iris.

    Melanin

    illustration

  • Melanin - illustration

    Melanin is the natural substance that gives color (pigment) to hair, skin, and the iris.

    Melanin

    illustration

Tests for Melanin

 
 

Review Date: 6/28/2018

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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