Basically, most of melanins are dark, from black to brown, but other melanins are reddish or yellowish [ 19 ]. (Index, Outline). , The actual skin color of different humans is affected by many substances, although the single most important substance is the pigment melanin. All the Colors We Are. While UV radiation can assist in the production of vitamin D, excessive exposure to UV can damage health. The most typical cause of darkened areas of skin, brown spots or areas of discoloration is unprotected sun exposure.  Two subsequent genome-wide association studies found no significant correlation between these genes and skin color, and suggest that the earlier findings may have been the result of incorrect correction methods and small panel sizes, or that the genes have an effect too small to be detected by the larger studies.. Excessive solar radiation causes direct and indirect DNA damage to the skin and the body naturally combats and seeks to repair the damage and protect the skin by creating and releasing further melanin into the skin's cells. Folate breakdown in sun-exposed skin is inhibited by the presence of melanin and is essential for human fetal development. Tanning response in humans is controlled by a variety of genes. Dark skin is a type of human skin color that are rich in melanin pigments, especially eumelanin. Examples of hypopigmentation include vitiligo and tinea versicolor. For those with darker skin colors, these discolorations can appear as patches or areas of ashen-gray skin. Our skin tones are often the talk of society in both positive and negative ways. The color of the hair depends on the amount and type of melanin produced by melanocytes.  In the 1970s, Luca Cavalli-Sforza suggested that the selective sweep that rendered light skin ubiquitous in Europe might be correlated with the advent of farming and thus have taken place only around 6,000 years ago; This scenario found support in a 2014 analysis of mesolithic (7,000 years old) hunter-gatherer DNA from La Braña, Spain, which showed a version of these genes not corresponding with light skin color. Learn about the skin's function and conditions that may affect the skin. Of these only OCA2 has been directly related to skin color measurements, while DCT, MC1R and ATRN are marked as candidate genes for future study. On lighter to medium skin tones, solar lentigenes emerge as small- to medium-sized brown patches of freckling that can grow and accumulate over time on areas of the body that receive the most unprotected sun exposure, such as the back of the hands, forearms, chest, and face. (Sweet 2002) argues that based on cave paintings, Europeans may have been dark as recently as 13,000 years ago. Dark skin with large concentrations of melanin protects against ultraviolet light and skin cancers; light-skinned people have about a tenfold greater risk of dying from skin cancer, compared with dark-skinned persons, under equal sunlight exposure. One form of the gene, “M,” “says” to make lots of melanin; another form of the gene, 2 “m,” says to only make a little melanin. Our hair color is also determined by varying amounts of melanin.  In ancient China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, pale skin was seen as a sign of wealth. It was long recognized that the number of categories is arbitrary and subjective. Black women come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and backgrounds from all walks of this earth. Light skin is a human skin color, which has little eumelanin pigmentation and which has been adapted to environments of low UV radiation. , Albinism is more common in some parts of the world than in others, but it is estimated that 1 in 70 humans carry the gene for OCA. Skin color is determined by the amount of the dark color pigment melanin in the skin. Loss-of-function mutations in the human MC1-R are one cause of red hair color and type I skin pigmentation in humans. , There is a direct correlation between the geographic distribution of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and the distribution of indigenous skin pigmentation around the world. , The theory is partially supported by a study into the SLC24A5 gene which found that the allele associated with light skin in Europe "determined […] that 18,000 years had passed since the light-skin allele was fixed in Europeans" but may have originated as recently as 12,000–6,000 years ago "given the imprecision of method" , which is in line with the earliest evidence of farming. Once incorrectly referred to as liver spots, these pigment problems are not connected with the liver. There’s a convincing explanation for why human skin tone varies as a global gradient, with the darkest populations around the equator and the lightest ones near the poles. The important thing to remember about skin color is this—every human on this planet shares a common ancestor from about 200,000 years ago in the heart of Africa, and they definitely had dark skin.  The length of time is also affected by cultural practices such as food intake, clothing, body coverings, and shelter usage which can alter the ways in which the environment affects populations. The kind of … This was the genotype inherited by anatomically modern humans, but retained only by part of the extant populations, thus forming an aspect of human genetic variation. Variations in human skin color are adaptive traits that correlate closely with geography and the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. , For the most part, the evolution of light skin has followed different genetic paths in European and East Asian populations.  Institutionalized slavery in North America led people to perceive lighter-skinned African-Americans as more intelligent, cooperative, and beautiful. Overall, human skin color is a highly variable and complex trait as a consequence of strong selection pressure and is controlled by multiple genetic loci (summarized in Table 1). The actual appearance of hair, and its overall reflective quality, is determined primarily by the pigment type, but also by the density and … However, the progeny of those humans who migrated North away from the intense African sun had another evolutionary constraint: vitamin D availability. Women would wear full-length clothes when outdoors, and would use gloves and parasols to provide shade from the sun.  However in some populations such as in Italy, Poland, Ireland, Spain and Portugal men are found to have fairer complexions, and this has been ascribed as a cause to increased melanoma risk in men. , Skin-whitening products have remained popular over time, often due to historical beliefs and perceptions about fair skin. The SLC24A5 variant spread very rapidly throughout central and southern Europe from about 8,000 years ago, whereas the light skin variant of SLC45A2 spread throughout Europe after 5,800 years ago.. In general, the more melanin there is in the skin the more solar radiation can be absorbed. , Population and admixture studies suggest a three-way model for the evolution of human skin color, with dark skin evolving in early hominids in Africa and light skin evolving partly separately at least two times after modern humans had expanded out of Africa. Those of African origin have darker skin, hair and eyes. The most common form of biological melanin is eumelanin, a brown-black polymer of dihydroxyindole carboxylic acids, and their reduced forms. |USA Today (Society for the Advancement of Education), "Effects of Suntan on Judgements of Healthiness and Attractiveness by Adolescents", "The Social Psychology of Tanning and Sunscreen Use: Self-Presentational Motives as a Predictor of Health Risk", "Fact or wishful thinking? Human skin tone color is determined by the amount of melanin in his or her skin. Skin Color. As they become full of melanin, they move into the slender arms of melanocytes, from where they are transferred to the keratinocytes. See skin color stock video clips . There are two types of melanin- pheomelanin and eumelanin. This type of skin discoloration is caused due to loss of skin pigment, melanin. This often happens in novels where only the skin color of people of color are described – the assumption being that being white is the default color. , In hominids, the parts of the body not covered with hair, like the face and the back of the hands, start out pale in infants and turn darker as the skin is exposed to more sun. Tracking back the statistical patterns in variations in DNA among all known people sampled who are alive on the Earth today, it appears that, TIP: The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, Tutorials in Quantitative Methods for Psychology, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification since June 2007, How to reference and link to summary or text. The beauty of black skin comes in its diverse and radiant nature. Skin pigmentation in humans evolved to primarily regulate the amount of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) penetrating the skin, controlling its biochemical effects. In humans, melanin production does not peak until after puberty. It is seen that Europeans have lighter skin, hair and eyes. Human skin color ranges from the darkest brown to the lightest hues. , A preference for fair or lighter skin continues in some countries, including Latin American countries where whites form a minority. Melanin is also … PMID 16357253, Rees, J.L., and N. Flanagan (1999). Depending upon the color of skin developed, skin discoloration can be of many types. These cells are called melanocytes and are responsible for producing melanin, the pigment (color) in our skin.  People have different skin colors mainly because their melanocytes produce different amount and kinds of melanin. Skin lightening, Color Counts: "... it is evident that differing color holds considerable importance within the black community and is measurably influencing self-esteem, prestige, and marital status." where the skin tone lightness W is measured as the percentage of light reflected from the upper inner arm at which location on humans there should be minimal tanning of human skin due to personal exposure to the sun; a lighter skinned human would reflect more light and would have a higher W number. Melanin is made within small membrane–bound packages called melanosomes. In ancient China and Japan, for example, pale skin can be traced back to ancient drawings depicting women and goddesses with fair skin tones. On average, males have darker skin tones than females.  Western mass media and popular culture continued[when?] The human MC1R gene consists of a string of 954 nucleotides, where each nucleotide is one of the four bases Adenine (A), Guanine (G), Thymine (T), or Cytosine (C).  Many actors and actresses in Latin America have European features—blond hair, blue eyes, and pale skin. The range of colors comes from the amount and type of pigment known as melanin found in the skin. The genes that determine skin color have two alleles each and are found on different chromosomes. , With the evolution of hairless skin, abundant sweat glands, and skin rich in melanin, early humans could walk, run, and forage for food for long periods of time under the hot sun without brain damage due to overheating, giving them an evolutionary advantage over other species.  The preference for fair skin remained prominent until the end of the Victorian era, but racial stereotypes about worth and beauty persisted in the last half of the 20th century and continue in the present day. The outermost layer is continuously shed is called the stratum corneum. The cause of vitiligo is unknown, but research suggests that it may arise from autoimmune, genetic, oxidative stress, neural, or viral causes. Related Reading on Skin Color Children’s Picture Books About the Color of Skin. As humans migrated north from the equator, they were exposed to less intense sunlight, in part because of the need for greater use of clothing to protect against the colder climate. Skin Show. Black Like Me We welcome your thoughts and comments. Hair, skin, and eye color in people and animals mostly depends on the type and amount of melanin they have.  Bipedal hominin body hair may have disappeared gradually to allow better heat dissipation through sweating. Sensitive skin types may exhibit the characteristics of dry skin, oily skin, or combination skin, but they also deal with a great amount of redness and irritation. Silk, How Humans Evolved, 6th edition, W. W. Norton & Company, London, 2012. … For black women, the domination of physical aspects of beauty in women's definition and value render us invisible, partially erased, or obsessed, sometimes for a lifetime, since most of us lack the major talismans of Western beauty. Human skin color map. A number of indigenous African groups, such as the Maasai, associated pale skin with being cursed or caused by evil spirits associated with witchcraft. to reinforce negative stereotypes about dark skin, but in some circles pale skin has become associated with indoor office-work while tanned skin has become associated with increased leisure time, sportiness and good health that comes with wealth and higher social status.  A theory that the pigmentation helped counter xeric stress by increasing the epidermal permeability barrier has been disproved. Skin color is determined by the number of dark alleles a person has. The color of human skin is created by a combination of blood (red) and melanin (yellow, brown). Albinism is a serious problem in areas of high sunlight intensity, leading to extreme sun sensitivity, skin cancer, and eye damage. Most are derived from the amino acid tyrosine. Normal skin types may also have sensitive skin, but these generally don’t overlap. The color of human skin can range from very light to very dark with every possible gradation in between. Many cultures around the world have developed beliefs regarding people with albinism. BBC News (online edition). Hence light skin became associated with wealth and high position. The tan that is created by an increased melanogenesis lasts much longer than the one that is caused by oxidation of existing melanin. Human skin comes in a wide variety of colours, ranging from shades of dark brown to almost white. , For the most part, the evolution of light skin has followed different genetic paths in Western and Eastern Eurasian populations. Another study of the a subset of the human mtDNA sequence yielded similar results, finding that the most recent common ancestor of all the Eurasian, American, Australian, Papua New Guinean, and African lineages dates to between 73,000 and 57,000 years ago, while the average age of convergence, or coalescence time, of the three basic non-African founding haplogroups M, N, and R is 45,000 years ago. Melanocytes are also found at the base of the epidermis and make melanin. Females need more calcium during pregnancy and lactation. Giving Color Names Only to Non-White Color Skin The second thing to avoid in talking about skin color is naming only non-white skin by special color names. For ages, humans have divided our species into groups based upon skin color. People with vitiligo often lose their hair color early as well. For simplicity, let's assume there are only two, 1 located at positions A and B on the chromosomes. The "MC1R" label for the gene stands for melanocortin 1 receptor, where. Human skin color is quite variable around the world. The interaction of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors on skin coloration with age is still not adequately understood, but it is known that men are at their darkest baseline skin color around the age of 30, without considering the effects of tanning. [need quotation to verify], Nevertheless, some social groups favor specific skin coloring.  Comparisons between known skin pigmentation genes in chimpanzees and modern Africans show that dark skin evolved along with the loss of body hair about 1.2 million years ago and that this common ancestor had dark skin. Warm undertones range from peach to yellow and golden. People who have more amount of pheomelanin tend to have lighter skin with freckles. 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