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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.

Alternative Names

Skin pigment



Habif TP, ed. Principles of diagnosis and anatomy. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2009:chap 1.

Update Date 10/27/2014