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Contactfree Infrared Thermography for the Determining “Normal Skin Temperature” in 50 Healthy Probands

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18073/2358-4696/pajmt.v1n1p43-49



Kamayni A. Kozlowski1, Ann-Christin Lange2 & Helge Beck3


Abstract: Definition of “normal temperature” is controversial in many text books on dermatology and physiology and depends on many factors. Thermographic imaging of the hands was performed in 50 healthy volunteers on four different days with an interval of 48-72 hours summing up to a total of 200 measurements. Infrared thermograms were gathered at defined points in each person after an acclimatization period of 30 minutes under standardized conditions according to the recommendations of the American Academy of Thermology. Despite of an acclimatization period of 30 minutes a decrease of temperature in the monitored area independent of gender could be observed. Initial surface temperature after the acclimatization period in these healthy probands ranged from 25.2 to 33.8°C (31.6 ± 2.1°C, median 32.2°C). Severe intra- and interindividual temperature differences could be detected despite standardized room conditions. Skin temperature varies greatly between and within individuals. Contactfree infrared thermography may improve detection of areas with altered perfusion if a symmetrical scan is performed. Nevertheless, screening patients on their general surface temperature does not provide any beneficial information in diagnosing or differentiating diseases unless a certain pathology is suspected in a particular area.

Key words: skin temperature, infrared thermography, tool, detection, screening.


Resumo: Definição de "temperatura normal" é controversa em muitos livros de texto sobre dermatologia e fisiologia e depende de muitos fatores. Foram realizadas imagens térmicas das mãos em 50 voluntários saudáveis, em quatro dias diferentes, com um intervalo de 48-72 horas somando um total de 200 medições. Termogramas foram coletadas em pontos definidos depois de um período de aclimatação de 30 minutos, sob condições padronizadas de acordo com as recomendações da Academia Americana de Termologia. Apesar do período de aclimatação, uma diminuição da temperatura na área monitorada pode ser observada, independentemente de sexo. As temperaturas iniciais da superfície após o período de aclimatização variaram 25,2-33,8 ° C (31,6 ± 2,1 ° C, mediana 32,2 ° C). Grandes diferenças de temperatura intra e interindividuais puderam ser detectadas. A temperatura da pele varia muito inter e intra indivíduos. A termografia infravermelha pode melhorar a detecção de áreas com perfusão alterada se uma varredura simétrica é executada. No entanto, triagem de pacientes em sua temperatura de superfície geral não fornece qualquer informação útil no diagnóstico de doenças ou de diferenciação, a menos que se suspeite de uma determinada patologia em uma área em particular.

Palavras-chave: temperatura da pele, termografia infravermelha, ferramentas, detecção, triagem


1 Therapiezentrum fuer Integrative Palliativ- und Schmerzmedizin (T.I.P.S!; Comprehensive Center for Integrative Care in Palliation and Pain), Winterhuder Weg 29, 22085 Hamburg, Germany - e-mail: buero.dr.agarwal@gmail.com
2 Department of Anesthesiology, Askepios Klinik Altona, Paul-Ehrlich-Strasse 1, 22763 Hamburg, Germany
3 Professor emeritus in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Division of PainManagement, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany


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