Health, Medicine

Forearm skin aging: characterization by instrumental measurements



The intrinsic aging and photoaged skin presents 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 aging) and extensor (chronically exposed to sunlight and other environmental factors, with a predominance of photoaging) 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 wrinkles depth, 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 aging and photoaging. The presence of elastosis and the reduction of elasticity in the clinical aspect of the photoaged face of forearms were according to 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 aging treatments in clinical research.

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