Reflectance Spectra of Pigmented and Nonpigmented Skin in the UV Spectral Region


  • Posted on the website on 12 August 2004.

*To whom correspondence should be addressed: Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, Allégt. 55, N-5007 Bergen, Norway. Fax: 47-555-894-40; e-mail:


We present measurements of reflectance spectra from human skin in vivo in the spectral range from 250 to 700 nm. These measurements show that the reflectance from strongly pigmented skin is higher than that from weakly pigmented skin at wavelengths shorter than approximately 300 nm. We simulate the measured results using a new radiative transfer model developed to study light propagation in skin tissue. Our simulations mimic the measured spectra when scattering from melanosomes, and fragmented melanosomes are taken into account. Scattering from microstructures with high relative refractive indices plays a major role in tissue optics. Our results show that scattering from melanosomes and fragmented melanosomes is of particular significance.