A skin colour code for the Nigerian (Negroid) population

  • AO George
  • AO Ogunbiyi


Some researchers have codified various people of different racial and pigment backgrounds into skin types. The West African native population generally falls into type VI –least likely to burn. There is a need for skin colour code in a multiethnic country like Nigeria especially for the purpose of health matters. The human eye is still the most accurate instrument for the measurement of colour; its interpretation however is subjective. An objective form of documentation is needed that will be simple, quick and inexpensive. To meet the challenge for the development of a skin colour code for Nigerians, a study was conducted at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, Nigeria. The study aimed at visually identifying possible skin colours and to reproduce this on the computer. 40 colour chips were identified and found relevant for the Negroid skin in Nigeria including the Nigerian albino. The chart can be laminated using thin transparent plastic film to prevent transmission of infection from skin to skin in different people. A skin colour code can be useful for clinical evaluation of disease conditions like vitiligo as well as for epidemiological studies. Its diagnostic potential is yet to be assessed.

African Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 13 (1-2) 2008: pp. 96-100

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eISSN: 1022-9272