When analyzing multidiameter single-fiber reflectance (MDSFR) spectra, the inhomogeneous distribution of melanin pigments in skin tissue is usually not accounted for. Especially in heavily pigmented skins, this can result in bad fits and biased estimation of tissue optical properties. A model is introduced to account for the inhomogeneous distribution of melanin pigments in skin tissue. In vivo visible MDSFR measurements were performed on heavily pigmented skin of type IV to VI. Skin tissue optical properties and related physiological properties were extracted from the measured spectra using the introduced model. The absorption of melanin pigments described by the introduced model demonstrates a good correlation with the co-localized measurement of the well-known melanin index. (C) The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License.