Brightfield Microscopy Digital Image Gallery

Heavily Pigmented Skin

In humans, melanins are largely responsible for the relative darkness of the skin, as well as the hair and the irises of the eyes. High levels of localized melanin are also the cause of freckles and moles. The amount of melanin pigments in the body are usually a function of genetics, but may be altered by various means. A suntan, for instance, is an indication of the overproduction of melanin caused by exposure to ultraviolet light. Certain disorders, such as Recklinghausen’s neurofibromatosis, which involves the improper storage of melanin in melanocytes, can also cause unusually high levels of pigmentation. Underproduction of melanin or a related absence of melanocytes may result from a number of conditions as well, including albinism, vitiligo, and phenylketonuria.


© 1995-2013 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, software, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003 at 05:49 PM
Access Count Since November 25, 2003: 9949
Microscopes and digital imaging equipment provided by:
Visit the Olympus Microscopy Resource Center website. Visit the QImaging website.