Skin colour

Skin colour is probably the most well-known and at the same time, the most overrated anthropometric trait. In many societies it is seen as the most important factor to define race. However, scientifically it is just one of many anthropometric traits that contribute to defining an anthropological type. Caucasoids may show pale skin in Northern Europe and dark brown skin in South India. Negroids may show light brown skin in tropical forest populations and in South Africa, but black skin in dry savannahs. Mongoloids may show fair skin in North-East Asia and dark brown skin in Native American groups of the Sonora and the Andes. Because sun alters skin colour, it is usually measured below the armpits. There have been various attempts to sort different skin colours into categories. The most prominent historical concept is the 35 skin colours defined by Felix von Luschan. Similarly, Paul Broca defined 34 skin colours, Garson-Ried-Denicker 10 to 12. A scale used in modern dermatology is the scale of Thomas B. Fitzpatrick that uses six skin colour types. The types in humanphenotypes are usually grouped into six categories as well, which are illustrated below. The map shows regions where a specific skin colour is common in native populations. On an individual level, different skin colours may regularly appear in the black areas as well.

pale fair light brown medium brown dark brown black