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Melanin is the main pigment which determines skin colour in humans.  The cells which produce melanin are called melanocytes. 

Melanin not only defines the colour of skin, hair and the iris of the eye, but it also serves a vital protective function – when exposed to sunlight, the skin produces more melanin, filtering harmful UV rays from sunlight and helping prevent skin damage from sunburn. 

All humans have approximately the same level of melanocytes in their skin, but some individuals and various ethic groups exhibit a greater or lesser concentration of melanin, resulting in the range of skin colours that exist across the world.  Complex genetic histories will determine every individual’s skin colour.

In the case of various skin pigment disorders, there are some treatments available to manage such conditions. However, in a lot of cases, there are no ‘cures’, rather superficial cosmetic preparations and processes.