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Melanin

Skin pigment

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.

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary. Melanin. www.merriam-webster.com/medical. Accessed October 22, 2020.

Moore KL, Persaud TVN, Torchia MG. Development of eyes and ears. In: Moore KL, Persaud TVN, Torchia MG, eds. The Developing Human. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 18.

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    • Melanin

      Melanin

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      • Melanin

        Melanin

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      Tests for Melanin

       
       

      Review Date: 8/13/2020

      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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