Human Skin Color

Human skin color is primarily due to the presence of melanin in the skin. Skin color ranges from almost black to white with a pinkish tinge due to blood vessels underneath. Variation in natural skin color is mainly due to genetics, although the evolutionary causes are not completely certain. According to scientific studies, natural human skin color diversity within populations is highest in Sub-Saharan African populations, with skin reflectance values ranging from 19 to 46 (med. 31) compared with European and East Asian populations which have skin reflectance values of 62 to 69 and 50 to 59 respectively. The term "range" is loosely defined in this case, as African albinos have obviously not been taken into consideration when calculating the "range".

The natural skin color can be darkened as a result of tanning due to exposure to sunlight. The leading theory is that skin color adapts to intense sunlight irradiation to provide partial protection against the ultraviolet fraction which produces damage and thus mutations in the DNA of the skin cells. Other factors that can modify skin color include protection from ambient temperature, infections, skin cancer or frostbite, an alteration in food, and sexual selection.

The social significance of differences in skin color has varied across cultures and over time, as demonstrated with regard to social status and racism.

Read more about Human Skin ColorMelanin and Genes, Evolution of Skin Color, Irregular Pigmentation, Exposure To Sun, Geographic Variation, Social Status and Racism

Other articles related to "skin, human, human skin color, skin color":

Skin (computing)
... In computing, a skin is a custom graphical appearance achieved by the use of a graphical user interface (GUI) that can be applied to specific software and websites to suit the purpose, topic, or tastes ... A skin may be associated with themes ... Software that is capable of having a skin applied is referred to as being skinnable, and the process of writing or applying such a skin is known as skinning ...
Eschar
... eschara, "scab") is a slough or piece of dead tissue that is cast off from the surface of the skin, particularly after a burn injury, but also seen in gangrene ... A newly identified human rickettsial infection, R ... if a skin graft is to be conducted) ...
Goose Bumps - Cause - Extreme Temperatures
... time, the tiny muscles that are contracting are causing a "bunching" of the skin surrounding the hairs, which results in the "bumps" in goosebumps ... its own heat by causing the hairs on the skin to stand up, thus reducing heat loss ... As the perspiration accumulates on the skin, it naturally evaporates ...
Human Skin Color - Social Status and Racism
... to classical scholar Frank Snowden, skin color did not determine social status in ancient Egypt, Greece or Rome ... as more significant in a person's status than was their skin color ... The preferred skin tone varies by culture and has varied over time ...
Skin - Detailed Cross Section
... Look up skin in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Famous quotes containing the words color, human and/or skin:

    Painting seems to be to the eye what dancing is to the limbs. When that has educated the frame to self-possession, to nimbleness, to grace, the steps of the dancing-master are better forgotten; so painting teaches me the splendor of color and the expression of form, and as I see many pictures and higher genius in the art, I see the boundless opulence of the pencil, the indifferency in which the artist stands free to choose out of the possible forms.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    He was a superior man. He did not value his bodily life in comparison with ideal things. He did not recognize unjust human laws, but resisted them as he was bid. For once we are lifted out of the trivialness and dust of politics into the region of truth and manhood.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    ... the trouble is that most people in this country think that we can stay out of wars in other parts of the world. Even if we stay out of it and save our own skins, we cannot escape the conditions which will undoubtedly exist in other parts of the world and which will react against us.... We are all of us selfish ... and if we can save our own skins, the rest of the world can go. The best we can do is to realize nobody can save his own skin alone. We must all hang together.
    Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962)