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Epidemiological data from two World Wars, the Korean War, and Alaska, suggests that darker pigmented persons may be more susceptible to cold injury than more lightly pigmented persons. This conclusion is supported by a number of in vivo and in vitro laboratory experiments and observations, and the geographical distribution of the lightest colored skins in temperate climates. These data, and the ample opportunity for cold injury before cultural adjustments were fully made to the cold conditions of temperate regions, suggests that cold injury may have been a contributing factor in the evolution of “white” skin.