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.
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.