Evolving Skin: Effects on Skin Color – C.Ruiz

Evolving Skin: Effects on Skin Color

by C.Ruiz

            Did you know that a seafood diet can help increase the Vitamin D in our bodies?  In addition, Vitamin D can change the way your skin color looks in different environments.  There are many different explanations for how skin color evolved over time.

            One important topic is the origin of skin color and its effects on people.  We all can trace back our generations to one common African root, even if we didn’t know it.  (Human Skin Color Variation)  For example, melanin is the skin’s brown pigment, and some of us have more than others.  People who have more melanin are more protected from the sun’s harsh rays, because the pigment is like a sunscreen.  This is good because UV rays can take away important folic acid that’s needed for a healthy body.  This adaptation in skin color was evolution’s way of protecting our ancestors from the sun, and then they passed their skin color on to us.

            A seafood diet can also be very important for a person seeking the need for more Vitamin D.  Early humans who lived in Canada or Alaska maintained their dark skin color, even though they lived in a place where the UV ray counts were down.  (Human Skin Color Variation).  For example, the snow in Alaska is very reflective, so the sun shines on it more.  The people’s dark skin was another evolutionary adaptation that protected them from the harsh UV rays on the snow and ice because melanin is a defending agent.

Another cause of skin color was the increase in sweat glands and decrease in the amount of hair our early ancestors had on their bodies.  The less hair they had, the quicker sweat was able to evaporate.  This made the body run more efficiently by cooling it down faster in hot climates.  (Human Skin Color Variation) Even though less hair can be a good thing, it also has its negative effects.  For example, less-hairy skin was harmful because when these early humans were in direct sunlight, UV rays were strong enough to cause serious sunburn.  Sunburn, if it’s bad enough, can lead to skin cancer and result in death. So dark skin evolved as a way to protect these early humans from the sun’s harmful rays.

In conclusion, there are many ways skin works and how it operates.  According to the article, “Human Skin Color Variation”, our skin is adaptable to any environment as long as we know how to work with it.  Therefore, we all should maintain healthy skin by not neglecting it because we need it to survive!

Works Cited

“Human Skin Color Variation.”  Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  Web. 29 October

            2012.


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