I noticed when I passed through Colorado that several people had a pink tint to their skin, especially in their faces. I only stopped at a restaurant and a couple of gas stations, but there seemed to be more pink people on the average than where I live (in the midwest). Also, at my job there’s a girl who just transferred from Colorado and her face is always red.
Is there any correlation between altitude and skin color or could it be a coincidence?
Maybe they all had sunburn.
Anecdotally, living in another mile high city, (Albuquerque) it seems to me us lighter skinned types do carry a bit more of a pink tinge than you flatlanders.
Sunburn occurs easier at altitude.
At a mile high altitude you will produce more red blood cells per unit of blood volume due to the diminished oxygen available. In fair skinned people this may be enough to affect skin color
There’s also a form of chronic altitude sickness that causes changes in skin color, but you have to be much higher for that. It’s seen in the Andes and Himmalayas.
Most of the faces I see in pictures of Sherpas are definitely rosier than, say, the Japanese. Of course, I have no idea if the Sherpa and the Japanese are even genetically related! Who are the Sherpa’s closest lowland genetic relatives? They came from Tibet, but Tibet is still mountains, isn’t it?
Could the effect be due to skin damage - broken capillaries from either elevation stress or wind?