Validity of a Self-Assessment Skin Tone Palette Compared to a Colorimeter for Characterizing Skin Color for Skin Cancer Research

Michelle K. Martin, Tanzida Zaman, Amanda M. Okello, Leslie K. Dennis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Our goal is to determine whether our objective 9-point Self-Assessment Skin Tone Palette (SASTP) is correlated with a colorimeter’s assessment of a melanin index, so that Hispanic and Black people can be included in skin cancer research where scales were developed for White populations. Subjects were asked to self-identify their skin tones using the SASTP. This study assessed the criterion validity of the SASTP by measuring a range of skin colors compared to a melanin index reported from a colorimeter for the upper-inner arm (non-sun-exposed skin color), and the outer forearm (sun-exposed). Among 188 non-artificial tanners, 50% were White, 30% were Hispanic or White-Hispanic, and 20% were other racial categories. Meanwhile, 70% were female (30% male) and 81% were age 18–29 (19% age 30+). The mean melanin of the upper-inner arm decreased with lighter skin color and stronger tendency to burn. The SASTP in comparison to melanin index values was correlated for both the upper-inner arm (r = 0.81, p < 0.001) and the outer forearm (r = 0.77, p < 0.001). The SASTP provides a 9-point scale that can be considered as an alternative, less expensive method that is comparable to the objective colorimeter melanin index, which may be useful in studies on skin cancer among White, non-White, and Hispanic peoples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3189-3200
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Oncology
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • color palette
  • colorimetry
  • skin neoplasms
  • skin pigmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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