Surely you once saw yourself in the mirror and realized that the color of your hair and your eyes is different from the photos you have seen of when you were a baby. This has an explanation, it happens to everyone.

Maybe your child was born with blue eyes and you want to know if they will darken over time. Almost all parents have this question and you will have the answer after your child turns one year old.

Eye color is defined by the color of the iris, which is the muscular ring around the pupil. The color of the iris depends on a protein called melanin, the same one that determines the color of the skin and hair.

Pediatrician Paulo Telles says that, at birth, almost all babies have blue or grayish eyes and this happens because the melanocyte, which is responsible for producing melanin, spent nine months in the dark and did not receive stimulation to produce melanin. So, after birth, the color of the eye will depend on the production of this pigment. If the melanocyte produces little melanin, the eye will remain blue; if it is produced a little more, it will turn greenish and, if it is produced a lot, the eyes will become brown or black.

During the first six months of life, the production of this pigment will be more intense and the change can occur up to the first year of life, that is, the color changes occur with more intensity up to six months, but only after the year is possible to see the final color.

Often times, eye color is the genetic trait that most fascinates parents as the child grows. What will his eyes be like? Blacks, browns, blues, grays, almond or a combination of colors? The appearance of a child depends on the genetic material provided by the father and mother. But the genes of the parents can be combined in various ways. The influences of each father and mother are not known until the child is born. The way eye color is inherited is much more complicated than was thought in the days when simple charts were created that could supposedly predict children’s eye color based on that of their parents.

Generally, a brown-eyed mother and father are much more likely to have a blue-eyed child than another couple, both blue-eyed, to have a brown-eyed child. This is because the generally less dominant blue-eyed trait can be passed on from brown-eyed people until the genes for lighter eye color match, possibly several generations later.

Two blue-eyed parents, on the other hand, are much less likely to have darker-eyed children. The reason is that, in general, darker eyes are so much more dominant than the genetic trait, that when it is present, it would appear first in the father or mother, who in turn would not have blue eyes at all.

However, due to the complexities of how genetic traits are passed on, it is entirely possible for a man and a woman, who are both blue-eyed, to have a brown-eyed child.

His eyes may only be blue temporarily; Babies’ eyes can change color if the brown pigment melanin evolves as they grow. Human eye color originates from three genes, two of which are well known. These genes explain the most common colors: green, brown and blue. At this time, there is no complete explanation for other colors such as gray, almond and other multiple combinations.

The protagonist of all these changes is melanin, a pigment produced by the human body that is responsible for assigning the color of the eyes, hair and skin. The greater the amount of this substance, the color that will predominate in your body will be a dark tone, however, if the amount is less, it will be the opposite. People at birth have a very small amount of melanin, but as they grow and are exposed to the sun’s rays, the pigment increases and that is how the color of the eyes, hair and skin is more intense. However, with the passage of adulthood, eumelanin, which produces dark colors, decreases and the shades of hair are light, which produces gray hair.

In this sense, in the first months of life, the cells that produce melanin are very immature, but as the baby grows they mature, producing a dark color. That is why children’s hair darkens with age.

Some children are born with different colored irises. This is usually caused by defective pigment transport during development, local trauma either in utero or after birth, or a benign genetic disorder.

The iris is a muscle that expands and contracts to control the size of the pupil. The pupil enlarges under dimmer lighting and shrinks under more light. The pupil also gets smaller when you focus on objects at close range, such as when reading a book. When the size of the pupil changes, the pigments in the iris are compressed or spread out, slightly changing the color of the eyes. Some people report that their eyes change color when they are angry or shocked, and it is possible that some emotions can change both the size of the pupil and the color of the iris.

Eye color also changes with age. This happens in 10 to 15% of the Caucasian population, who generally have lighter eyes. Keep in mind that if your eye color changes quite drastically, or if one eye changes from brown to green or blue to brown (called heterochromia), it’s important to see your eye care professional, as Eye color changes can be a warning of certain diseases.

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