The evaluation of skin surface contours can be carried out by various techniques, including the use of a stylus profilometer, a laser profilometer and a conventional optical profilometer (COP). But these methods have some drawbacks because their data are basically obtained from two-dimensional algorithms. So a new technique has been developed based on a new concept: a stereo image processing technique which is considered in this paper. Since a pair of stereo images contains depth information, the 'disparity', or the difference between the left and right images, enables the production of three-dimensional coordinates. This study was performed to evaluate the change of skin surface contours according to the ageing process. The stereo image optical topometer (SOT) is a new instrument used for the three-dimensional evaluation of skin surface contours. Thus, five new parameters have to be developed, such as mean surface roughness (Sa), mean depth of roughness (Sz), three-dimensional length (SL), three-dimensional area (SA), and three-dimensional volume (SV). Sa, SL and SA have shown a statistically significant increase in the seventies age group. Sz has also shown a significant increase in the twenties and over-sixties age groups. The coefficient variation of the height of the skin surface using a COP varies between 14.76 and 6.57, but that using a SOT is between 2.18 and 2.69, according to age variation. In conclusion, the SOT system is a more reliable and useful method for evaluating skin surface contours than the COP system. Among the three-dimensional parameters which were made in this study, SA, SL and Sa, seem to be useful as reliable parameters for evaluating skin surface contours in the ageing process.
- Ageing skin
- Conventional optical profilometer
- Non-invasive technique
- Stereo image optical topometer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Physiology (medical)