What is melanin?
Melanin is a chemical pigment which occurs in various body tissues, e.g. it gives skin its colour. Its main role in the body is protective. In the skin it absorbs ultraviolet light, which is an invisible part of sunlight which causes sunburn and can contribute to the development of skin cancer. The role of melanin in the eye is not fully understood, however melanin is found in the retina, in particular the fovea, the area which receives the sharpest light images.