Why is Vampire Skin Pale and Cold?

by Becca
(Sandy, Utah, USA)

Okay, so I always hear that vampires skin is very cold but if there is no blood in their veins it would be kinda like they're cold blooded so that means what ever the temperature is of the room they're in there's should be the same. So if it was hot then they should be warm and they would only be cold if the room or outside was cold so why is it that all vampire stories their skin is very cold? Having pale skin also confuses me because their skin would only be pale if they had been a vampire for a very, very long time because I don't think you just become instantly pale. Pale vampires come from years of never being able to be in the sun right? I'm very confused!

Good questions, Becca. You're right about the "cold-blooded" thing. Because a vampire's body essentially "dies", it no longer conducts heat the way a normal human body does. Therefore, as you said, its body temperature would rise or fall to match its surrounding environment. The reason they seem so cold is in comparison to what you would expect from a normal human being. A normal person has an internal body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. When you touch a human's skin, it doesn't feel like it's that hot because the heat dissipates as it extends out. The limbs in particular lose a lot of heat along the pathway, which is why people often get cold hands and feet first.

With a vampire, there is no internal core warming the body, so their skin will feel cold in comparison to a normal person's skin. It's not necessarily colder than the air temperature, but it is colder than a normal person's. Plus most vampires are active at night, when it is considerably colder out, and have no way of warming their bodies the way that we do.

As for the pale skin, this follows a similar logic. The skin is only warm and flush with color because of the blood circulating through it. If you were to cut off the blood flow to a part of your body, say an arm or a leg, you would see it turn pale and possibly blue-ish within a matter of a minute or two. The fresh blood supply, having recently been oxygenated will be warm and red, but that will quickly cease without the heart and lungs pumping fresh blood to the skin. A human turned into a vampire would become pale within minutes of turning, and as you said - this would only intensify over years with no sunlight.


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