Pharmacologic manipulation of skin pigmentation

Gabriel H. Kindl, John A. D’Orazio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Skin complexion is among the most recognizable phenotypes between individuals and is mainly determined by the amount and type of melanin pigment deposited in the epidermis. Persons with dark skin complexion have more of a brown/black pigment known as eumelanin in their epidermis whereas those with fair skin complexions have less. Epidermal eumelanin acts as a natural sunblock by preventing incoming UV photons from penetrating into the skin and therefore protects against UV mutagenesis. By understanding the signaling pathways and regulation of pigmentation, strategies can be developed to manipulate skin pigmentation to improve UV resistance and to diminish skin cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-785
Number of pages9
JournalPigment Cell and Melanoma Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the following NIH grants: R01CA131075, P30CA177558, and P30ES026529. We thank the Markey Cancer Foundation, the Melanoma Research Alliance, and the DanceBlue Golden Matrix Fund for their support. This manuscript's contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • cAMP
  • melanin
  • melanocortin 1 receptor
  • melanocyte
  • pigmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
  • Oncology
  • Dermatology


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