Interdependence of eye and hair colour, skin type and skin pigmentation in a Caucasian population

Acta Derm Venereol. 1998 May;78(3):214-9. doi: 10.1080/000155598441567.


Eye colour, hair colour and skin colour are important risk factors for malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. There are few studies in which the distribution of these pigmentary factors in risk populations has been assessed. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of the major eye and hair colours and the distribution of skin types and skin pigmentation in a Caucasian population. In 892 Danish Caucasians, eye colour, hair colour and skin type were assessed and facultative and constitutive skin pigmentation were measured objectively using skin reflectance spectroscopy. Blue eye colour and blond hair colour and skin type II were the most frequent (60%, 67% and 33% of subjects, respectively). All four major eye colours and four major hair colours (with the exception of red hair colour) were found within skin types I-IV and we could not predict the skin type or the constitutive skin pigmentation. Skin type could not be taken to classify individuals reliably according to their facultative or constitutive skin pigmentation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Denmark
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Eye Color*
  • Female
  • Hair Color*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin / physiopathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Skin Pigmentation* / physiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Whites*