Optical Properties of Human Skin

  • R. R. Anderson
  • J. A. Parrish
Part of the Photobiology book series (PB)


Despite the many years since optical spectra from human skin were first obtained, only recently have quantitative models of cutaneous optics been applied. This chapter aims to present the optics of human skin conceptually and quantitatively, to examine the structures and pigments that modify cutaneous optics, and to discuss current research in this area and its applications to photomedicine. Introductory sections on the structure of skin and on optical phenomena in turbid media are included in addition to the general introduction below. This chapter does not offer an exhaustive review of all studies related to the optics of human skin, but attempts to include those reliable studies pertinent to its goals. The interested reader can find thorough and more historical reviews in (1–3).


Human Skin Stratum Corneum Normal Skin Optical Radiation Melanin Content 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. R. Anderson
    • 1
  • J. A. Parrish
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical SchoolMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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