Skin color

Topics: Human skin color, Sun tanning, Ultraviolet, Color, White, Skin / Pages: 2 (300 words) / Published: Feb 24th, 2014
Erikka Perkins
ANT 801SS
Kathy Clifton
2/16/2014
Skin Color The biggest physical difference in the human population is the color of skin, which vary a lot between individuals and in different places in the world. Appearance is dramatically different between individuals but skin color is an example of something exhibits continuous variation. Skin color cannot be defined by colors but by one extreme to another. Skin color is a known as a polygenic gene that is a consequence of the difference in alleles of more than one gene. There are tons of factors that to give skin its color. Melanin is the most important of these factors. This is the dark pigment that determines the lightness darkness of the skin. This is responsible for the varies of tan, brown, and black skin. Melanocytes produce Melanin, this happens in the bottom layer of the skin. Weirdly, all humans have about the same number of melanocytes in their body. The arrangement and amount of melanin determines their skin color. To some extent, these factors are genetically controlled. Small amounts of Melanin result in a white color showing through the epidermis. Hemoglobin is also a larger factor that influences skin color. People with less melanin in their skin have this red color coming through from hemoglobin which give their skin a pinkish color. Carotene is also a factor when dealing with skin color. Carotene is a yellowish pigment. It is contained in certain foods so people who eat large amounts of it can have a yellow/orange tint to their skin. This however, does not happen to people of Asian descent. Skin color can also be directed towards the influences given by the environment. The sun gives out ultraviolet rays that can turn the skin tan. Skin color can be determined environmentally or genetically.

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