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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 913646, 6 pages
Clinical Study

The Weather-Beaten Dorsal Hand Clinical Rating, Shadow Casting Optical Profilometry, and Skin Capacitance Mapping

1Laboratory of Skin Bioengineering and Imaging (LABIC), Department of Clinical Sciences, Liège University, 4000 Liège, Belgium
2Department of Medical Informatics and Biostatistics, University of Liège, 4000 Liège, Belgium
3Department of Dermatology, University Hospital St Jacques, 25030 Besançon, France

Received 19 August 2013; Accepted 23 September 2013

Academic Editor: Corinne Charlier

Copyright © 2013 Marie Delvenne et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Laypeople commonly perceive some skin xerosis and withering (roughness) changes during winter on some parts of the body, particularly on the dorsal hands. The aim of the study was to assess the withered skin surface changes occurring during the four seasons. A total of 47 menopausal women completed the study. A group of 31 volunteers were on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and 16 were out of HRT. Skin xerosis and scaliness were rated clinically. In addition, skin whitening was assessed by computerized shadow casting optical profilometry and by skin capacitance mapping. The volunteers were not using topical creams and over-the-counter products on their hands. Marked changes, recorded over the successive seasons, corresponded to patchy heterogeneous stratum corneum hydration and heterogeneous skin surface roughness changing over seasons; they likely resulted from changes in the environmental temperature and atmosphere moisture. The severity of the changes revealed by clinical inspection was not supported by similar directions of fluctuations in the instrumental assessments. This seemingly contradiction was in fact due to different levels of scale observation. The clinical centimetric scale and the instrumental inframillimetric scale possibly provide distinct aspects of a given biological impact.