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Open Access Research

Thermography and thermoregulation of the face

Jan Rustemeyer1*, Jürgen Radtke2 and Andreas Bremerich1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, Klinikum Bremen Mitte, Bremen, Germany

2 Department of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, Universitätsklinik Knappschaftskrankenhaus Bochum-Langendreer, Bochum, Germany

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Head & Face Medicine 2007, 3:17  doi:10.1186/1746-160X-3-17

Published: 15 March 2007

Abstract

Background

Although clinical diagnosis of thermoregulation is gaining in importance there is no consistent evidence on the value of thermography of the facial region. In particular there are no reference values established with standardised methods.

Methods

Skin temperatures were measured in the facial area at 32 fixed measuring sites in 26 health subjects (7–72 years) with the aid of a contact thermograph (Eidatherm). A total of 6 measurements were performed separately for the two sides of the face at intervals of equal lengths (4 hours) over a period of 24 hours. Thermoregulation was triggered by application of a cold stimulus in the region of the ipsilateral ear lobe.

Results

Comparison of the sides revealed significant asymmetry of face temperature. The left side of the face showed a temperature that was on the average 0.1°C lower than on the right. No increase in temperature was found following application of the cold stimulus. However, a significant circadian rhythm with mean temperature differences of 0.7°C was observed.

Conclusion

The results obtained should be seen as an initial basis for compiling an exact thermoprofile of the surface temperature of the facial region that takes into account the circadian rhythm, thus closing gaps in studies on physiological changes in the temperature of the skin of the face.