So far it is not known whether epidermal melanins are solely photoprotective or also phototoxic. Also largely unknown are underlying UV-induced mechanisms and impact of the chemical structure. This perspective will focus on the current insights into the UV-dissipative mechanisms in melanin model systems and the implications for the in vivo pigments. We will also identify future research perspectives towards a full understanding of the functionality of epidermal pigments.
Huijser, A., Pezzella, A., & Sundstrom, V. (2011). Functionality of epidermal melanin pigments: knowledge on UV-dissipative mechanisms and research perspectives. Physical chemistry chemical physics, 13(20), 9119-9127. https://doi.org/10.1039/c1cp20131j