Skin reflectance was measured at the areola, breast, and inner arm among samples of White, Black, Chinese, and American Indian women. Population differences in areolar reflectance, and in the ratios of areolar/breast and areolar/arm reflectance, were examined. For a subset of the White women in our sample, we also considered differences according to the women’s state of pregnancy or nonpregnancy, stage of menstrual cycle, and parity. Skin reflectance was measured using a Photovolt 670 reflection colorimeter with blue, green, and amber tristimulus filters. The following observations were made: 1. Among White women, there is an apparent trend towards lighter pigmentation in older, post-menopausal individuals. 2. Just as populations differ in the overall degree of skin pigmentation, they also differ in degree of areolar pigmentation. 3. The ratios of areolar/breast and areolar/inner- arm reflectance do not appear to follow the same pattern of interpopulation variation as does simple skin reflectance, suggesting some population differences in the activity of gonadal hormones. 4. Areolas are darker in pregnant than in nonpregnant women. In addition, areolas were darker in nonpregnant women about to menstruate than in those at other stages of the menstrual cycle.
Pawson, I G. and Petrakis, N L.
"Comparisons of Breast Pigmentation among Women of Different Racial Groups,"
4, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol47/iss4/5