The Evolution of Skin Pigmentation and Hair Texture in People of African Ancestry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

17 Scopus citations


Our species, Homo sapiens, evolved in Africa, and humanity's highest levels of genetic diversity are maintained there today. Underlying genetic diversity combined with the great range of solar regimes and climatic conditions found in Africa has contributed to a wide range of human integumentary phenotypes within the continent. Millions of Africans have moved, voluntarily and involuntarily, to other continents in the past 2000 years, and the range of integumentary phenotypes among admixed African diaspora populations is enormous. In this contribution, we do not catalog this variation, but provide basic evolutionary background as to how it developed in the first place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalDermatologic Clinics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology

Cite this