Enhancement of visual scoring of skin irritant reactions using cross-polarized light and parallel-polarized light
Article first published online: 16 JAN 2008
2008 The Author Journal compilation
Volume 58, Issue 3, pages 147–155, March 2008
How to Cite
Farage, M. A. (2008), Enhancement of visual scoring of skin irritant reactions using cross-polarized light and parallel-polarized light. Contact Dermatitis, 58: 147–155. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.2007.01284.x
- Issue published online: 12 FEB 2008
- Article first published online: 16 JAN 2008
- Accepted for publication 2 September 2007
- contact dermatitis;
- non-invasive measuring method;
- patch test;
- polarized light;
- skin irritation;
Background/purpose: Polarized light has been used as an aid in visualizing various skin conditions, including acne vulgaris, rosacea, photoageing, lentigo simplex, and basal cell carcinoma. The use of parallel-polarized and cross-polarized light was evaluated in mild irritant reactions to determine, if this increases the ability to detect very early stages or low levels of irritation.
Methods: Low concentrations of sodium lauryl sulfate (0.01% and 0.1%) were patched on human volunteers for 2, 6, and 24 hr, daily for 2–3 days in a modification of the standard patch test. Feminine protection products were evaluated in the behind-the-knee (BTK) test. Erythema reactions were scored by unaided visual assessment and using a polarized light visualization system.
Results: In the 24-hr patch test, mean erythema assessed with polarized light was consistent with results of unaided visual scoring. Under milder conditions (2- and 6-hr patches), and in the BTK, significant differences from pretreatment levels of erythema were apparent earlier in the series of treatments compared with unaided scoring. In addition, subsurface scoring demonstrated that changes were still present under the skin surface even after unaided visual scoring indicated recovery.
Conclusion: Low (subclinical) levels of irritation can be detected using enhanced visual scoring, indicating this non-invasive method has the potential to increase the sensitivity of our clinical studies.