What Explains Skin Color In Humans?

Subject: Science
Type: Expository Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 664
Topics: Biology, Genetics, Health, Photosynthesis

Human skin shading ranges in an assortment from the lightest, darker to the darkest tones. A person’s skin pigmentation is because of hereditary qualities, being the result of both person’s biological guardians’ hereditary makeup and exposure to the sun (Liu et al., 2015). It is worth to mention that in human skin pigmentation advanced by the procedure of natural choice. This process is principally intended to direct the measure of bright radiation infiltrating and controlling its biochemical impacts. Many substances influence skin color found in different people although melanin is the single most substance that is behind the skin color (Ghimire & Lee, 2013). Melanin is a substance that is secreted by a cell known as melanocytes. Also, it is the basic determinant of the skin shading in dark-skinned individuals. This paper focuses on explaining the skin color in human beings.

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Some facts of melanin include: individuals make different sizes of melanin; although people have almost an equal number of cells that produce melanin not everyone makes the same amount of melanin. Again, the more melanin one produces, the darker their skin; the amount of melanin produced by the body depends greatly on the genes of the person which are hereditary from the parent (Liu et al., 2015). Notwithstanding that melanin is the force behind one getting burn or tan; when human is exposed to the sun, their body tends to make more melanin. It produces melanin with the aim of protecting the skin from dangerous sun rays by absorbing or deflecting them. Fortunately, when the darker skinned people get older, they do not get wrinkly because they have more melanin that protects their skin.

The lighter skin colored is mostly determined by the somewhat blue-white connective tissue found beneath the dermis and hemoglobin flowing through the veins and arteries of the dermis. The reddish color under the skin turns more visible, mostly on the face as a result of vigorous exercises or the arterioles dilate and nervous system (Liu et al., 2015). Note that the skin color of human differ from different parts of the body, for instance, the skin color of the sole and palm is lighter than other parts of the body, and this is more evident on dark-skinned individuals.

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Notably, there is a relationship amongst the distribution of skin pigmentation and geographical distribution of ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Research conducted by Martini, Pérez Marcos and Sanchez-Vives (2013), showed that regions near the equator tend to have a vast range of population who are darker-skinned. And regions far from tropics and nearer to the poles experience the low intensity of UVR, and as a result, there is a vast population with lighter skin.

In conclusion, the processes of determining the skin color in human beings are still prevalent today. This is because people are still using most obvious phenotype to differentiate members of the society; skin color or pigmentation. For instance, insufficient safeguarding from sunlight has a detrimental effect on human health. This claim is evident in various parts of the world. For example, the research shows that in Australia there have been cumulative incidences of skin cancers yet the oxymoronic “smart tanning” industry are constantly growing, and there is confusion over the extent to which distinct types of melanin can affect susceptibility to ultraviolet radiation. This is clear evidence that the processes of determining the skin color continue even to the present date.

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  1. Ghimire, D., & Lee, J. (2013). A robust face detection method based on skin color and edges. Journal of Information Processing Systems9(1), 141-156.
  2. Liu, F., Visser, M., Duffy, D. L., Hysi, P. G., Jacobs, L. C., Lao, O., … & Zhu, G. (2015). Genetics of skin color variation in Europeans: Genome-wide association studies with functional follow-up. Human Genetics134(8), 823-835.
  3. Martini, M., Pérez Marcos, D., & Sanchez-Vives, M. V. (2013). What color is my arm? Changes in skin color of an embodied virtual arm modulates pain threshold. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience7, 438.
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