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Sunlight and Melanin Pigmentation

  • Madhu A. Pathak
  • Kowichi Jimbow
  • George Szabo
  • Thomas B. Fitzpatrick

Abstract

When viewed from the perspective of photobiology, melanin pigmentation of human skin can be described in two categories: the first, constitutive or intrinsic skin color, and the second, facultative or inducible skin color (Quevedo et al., 1974). Constitutive skin color designates the genetically determined levels of cutaneous melanin pigmentation in accordance with the genetic programs of the cells in the absence of direct or indirect influences (e.g., solar radiation, hormones, or other environmental factors). Facultative skin color characterizes the increase in melanin pigmentation above the constitutive level and arises from the complex interplay of solar radiation and hormones upon the genetically endowed melanogenesis of the individual. The facultative skin color change brought about by solar radiation is commonly referred to as “suntan.”

Keywords

Skin Color Human Epidermis Dendritic Process Human Melanocyte Minimal Erythema Dose 
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 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madhu A. Pathak
    • 1
  • Kowichi Jimbow
    • 1
  • George Szabo
    • 1
  • Thomas B. Fitzpatrick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General HospitaHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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