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April 1994

Black Skin Structure and Function

Author Affiliations

Boston, Mass

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(4):534. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690040142031

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My first reaction to this book was why would anyone write a book about the structure and function of black skin. Both in the preface and in the body of the text, the authors make it clear that their motivation was to infuse the literature with their own fresh and original ideas about differences between darkly pigmented and lighter skin and to inspire badly needed thought and research on the subject. The book's contents include discussions about skin color and evolution, the physiology of skin pigmentation and differences in skin coloration, structural differences between lightly and darkly pigmented skin, dermatologic disorders associated with darkly pigmented skin, wound healing, and cosmetics for deeply pigmented skin.

The book is both informative and provocative. It contains a thorough historical and philosophical discussion of the evolutionary adaptive value of darkly and lightly pigmented skin and scientists' efforts to classify human populations. Structural and functional

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