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.
... contracting are causing a "bunching" of the skin surrounding the hairs, which results in the "bumps" in goosebumps ... body's way of preserving 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 ...
... 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 ... 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 ...
... According to classical scholar Frank Snowden, skin color did not determine social status in ancient Egypt, Greece or Rome ... was viewed 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 ...
... tissue that is cast off from the surface of the skin, particularly after a burn injury, but also seen in gangrene, ulcer, fungal infections, necrotizing spider bite wounds, and exposure to cutaneous anthrax ... A newly identified human rickettsial infection, R ... if a skin graft is to be conducted) ...
... 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 (18031882)
“I put away my brushes; resolutely crucified my divine gift, and while it hung writhing on the cross, spent my best years and powers cooking cabbage. A servant of servants shall she be, must have been spoken of women, not Negroes.”
—Jane Grey Swisshelm, U.S. newspaperwoman, abolitionist, and human rights activist. Half a Century, ch. 8 (1880)
“Your old skin puckering, your lungs breath
Grown baby short as you looked up last
At my face swinging over the human bed,
And somewhere you cried, let me go let me go.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)