A survey of skin-color modeling and detection methods

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Pattern Recognition

Publication Date


Date Added



Skin detection plays an important role in a wide range of image processing applications ranging from face detection, face tracking, gesture analysis, content-based image retrieval systems and to various human computer interaction domains. Recently, skin detection methodologies based on skin-color information as a cue has gained much attention as skin-color provides computationally effective yet, robust information against rotations, scaling and partial occlusions. Skin detection using color information can be a challenging task as the skin appearance in images is affected by various factors such as illumination, background, camera characteristics, and ethnicity. Numerous techniques are presented in literature for skin detection using color. In this paper, we provide a critical up-to-date review of the various skin modeling and classification strategies based on color information in the visual spectrum. The review is divided into three different categories: first, we present the various color spaces used for skin modeling and detection. Second, we present different skin modeling and classification approaches. However, many of these works are limited in performance due to real-world conditions such as illumination and viewing conditions. To cope up with the rapidly changing illumination conditions, illumination adaptation techniques are applied along with skin-color detection. Third, we present various approaches that use skin-color constancy and dynamic adaptation techniques to improve the skin detection performance in dynamically changing illumination and environmental conditions. Wherever available, we also indicate the various factors under which the skin detection techniques perform well.






Bioimaging and Biomedical Optics