Forearm skin aging: characterization by instrumental measurements via International Journal of Cosmetics science

30 January 2018


The intrinsic ageing and photoaged skin present biomechanical and morphological differences, which are reflected in the appearance of roughness, superficial and deep wrinkles, atrophy, reduced elasticity, hypo- and hyperpigmentation and actinic keratosis.


To evaluate and compare the characteristics of the flexor (with a predominance of intrinsic ageing) and extensor (chronically exposed to sunlight and other environmental factors, with a predominance of photoageing) skin surfaces of the forearms.


Interventional, prospective, diagnostic study, including 23 females, aged over 60 years. The extensor and flexor faces of forearms were compared in relation to clinical parameters and non-invasive instrumental measurements, such as skin surface, elasticity, hydration as well as dermal thickness and echogenicity.


Regarding the water content of the stratum corneum, the flexor face presented an average value higher than the extensor face. The average of measures obtained through images of high-frequency ultrasound demonstrated greater echogenicity of flexor face compared to the extensor face. The measurements of the skin surface showed significant differences between the faces. The roughness and scaliness were lower in the flexor face. Regarding the depth of wrinkles, there was no significant difference between the faces. The average of the measurements was slightly higher in the flexor face, which demonstrated that wrinkles are present in the intrinsic ageing and photoageing. The presence of elastosis and the reduction in elasticity in the clinical aspect of the photoaged face of forearms were according to the results of the non-invasive measurements.


Meaningful differences in the biophysical characteristics of the extensor and flexor faces of the forearms were detected. Because the non-invasive instrumental measurements correlated with clinical findings, they may represent useful tools to assess efficacy and safety of skin ageing treatments in clinical research.

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