• skin optics;
  • reflectance spectroscopy;
  • two-layer tissue model;
  • optical biopsy;
  • non-invasive tissue diagnosis


A previously developed inverse method was applied to in vivo normal-hemispherical spectral reflectance measurements taken on the inner and outer forearm as well as the forehead of healthy white Caucasian and black African subjects. The inverse method was used to determine the thickness and melanin concentration in the epidermis, dermal blood volume fraction and oxygen saturation, and skin's spectral scattering coefficient. It was established that changes in melanin concentration due to racial difference and tanning, and differences in epidermal thickness and blood volume with anatomical location were detectable. The retrieved values were also consistent with independent measurements reported in the literature. The same method could be used for optical diagnosis of pathologies affecting the structure and pigmentation of human skin. (© 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)