Skin erythema and pigmentation: a review of optical assessment techniques
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BACKGROUND: Skin erythema may present due to many causes. One of the common causes is prolonged exposure to sun rays. Other than sun exposure, skin erythema is an accompanying sign of dermatological diseases such as acne, psoriasis, melasma, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, fever, as well as exposure to specific electromagnetic wave bands. METHODS: Quantifying skin erythema in patients enables the dermatologist to assess the patient's skin health. Therefore, quantitative assessment of skin erythema was the target of several studies. The clinical standard for erythema evaluation is visual assessment. However, the former standard has some imperfections. For instance, it is subjective, and unqualified for precise color information exchange. To overcome these shortcomings, the past three decades witnessed various methodologies that aimed to achieve erythema objective assessment, such as diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), and both optical and non-optical systems. DISCUSSION: This review article reports on the studies published in the past three decades where the performance, the mathematical tactics for computation, and the capabilities of erythema assessment techniques for cutaneous diseases are discussed. In particular, the achievements and limitations of the current techniques in erythema assessment are presented. CONCLUSION: The profits and development trends of optical and non-optical methods are displayed to provide the researcher with awareness into the present technological advances and its potential for dermatological diseases research.
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