Melanin is a natural substance that gives color (pigment) to:
- The iris of the eye
It is produced by cells in the skin called melanocytes.
Melanin also helps protect the skin from the sun.
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 July 18, 2022.
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.
Review Date 7/25/2022
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.