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October 1961

Skin Color: A Correlation of Reflectance Measurement and Clinical Appearance

Author Affiliations


Department of Dermatology, University of Miami School of Medicine.

This investigation was supported in part by U.S. Army Contract DA 49-007-MD-731 and by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (2G-224).

Arch Dermatol. 1961;84(4):654-659. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580160118023

The color of a substance depends, among other things, on the wavelength of the rays reflected from its surface. By use of reflectance attachments, spectrophotometers have been employed to determine the reflectance at various wavelengths. The results are then plotted to form a curve, which, to some extent, represents the color of the object examined. The purpose of the procedure is to eliminate the personal element in color determination and enable an individual in another laboratory to duplicate the color from the reflectance data. In this way, descriptions of color as of salmon or apple jelly color would be rendered obsolete. Such reflectance studies have been reported, among others, by Dorno,1 Bode,2 Sheard and Brunsting,3 Brunsting and Sheard,4 Jacquez et al.,5 Edwards and Duntley,6 Daniels and Imbrie,7 Jansen,8 Lee and Lasker,9 and Daniels and Bergeron.10

The present study was undertaken

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