Melanin, Health Information, NE - CHI Health, Omaha
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Alternative Names

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.


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

Review Date: 10/27/2014
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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