Introduction: Melanogenesis is the mechanism of melanin formation in the skin or hair, which is produced by melanosomes in melanocytes. Melanin is the main coloring pigment of the skin, hair and eyes, and also functions as a photoprotection against ultra-violet (UV) exposure.
Methods: A total 20 relevant literatures which focused on skin pigmentation and melanogenesis were used to construct this review. The articles were published from 1998-2018. Most of the literatures were basic research and the clinical information were extracted from their discussion.
Result: The process of melanogenesis starts from the migrational process of melanoblasts which are precursors of melanocyte cells originating from the neural crest into the epidermal layer and hair follicles. Many factors play a role in melanogenis both intrinsically and extrinsically, the dominant intrinsic factor is Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone-Î± (Î±-MSH) while the extrinsic factor that plays a role is UV ray.
Conclusion: Melanogenesis is a complex process which influenced by a wide array of internal and external factors with Î±-MSH and UV ray act as the main regulators. Due to delicate nature of this process, defect in a certain stage could result in significant medical condition.