A study of a method for distribution analysis of skin color

Seunghan Ha, Minhee Lee, Onseok Lee, Gunwoo Lee, Jeayoung Kim, Jongsub Moon, Mingi Kim, Chil Hwan Oh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    Background/aims: The objective and quantitative assessment of the skin is important in medical and cosmeceutical research. Assessment of color is an important element for analyzing the surface of the skin, which is usually determined subjectively by a doctor or using color analysis devices. These devices, however, cannot provide correct color information because color is construed from the mean value of the observation region, and analysis of color distribution is impossible. The purpose of this paper is to develop an objective analysis method to permit skin color measurement of each pixel unit of an image and analyze the distribution of skin surface color. Methods: The Skin Color Distribution Analyzer (SCDA) is an analysis method newly developed at the Research Institute for Skin Image at Korea University. The SCDA system presented in this paper performed a novel form of quantitative and objective analysis of skin color distribution using each pixel color model parameter found in image wavelength information. In this paper, distribution analysis was conducted on normal skin and skin lesions and skin affected by artificially induced irritant contact dermatitis and pigmented nevous. The method selected a grade using a color model parameter. Twenty healthy Korean males participated in this study. A comparative study of the eight anatomical areas was performed, including the exposure and non-exposure parts and the medial aspect and the lateral aspect of the forearm. A reliability test for the SCDA system was also conducted with a spectrometer (SPEC) using the color analysis method. Results: Each skin lesion was precisely segmented by grade and each parameter hada different statistical significance for results of analysis of distribution in pigmented nevous and the artificially induced irritant contact dermatitis. Parameters L*, b*, a*, and EI showed salient traits. Showed resemble measured result in the SCDA system and the SPEC of normal skin. The exposed site, in comparison with the non-exposed site, showed a notable difference in the L* parameter and a significant statistical difference in the x and z parameters, except b*. The comparison of the medial and lateral aspects of the forearm showed a notable difference in the L* parameter and a significant statistical difference in the parameters except y and b*. In the reliability test result using the SCDA system and the SPEC, the SCDA system was highly reliabile in terms of the CV value in all color model parameters. Conclusions: The color distribution analysis method using the SCDA system has revealed an aspect that the existent method of medical research has not shown, and is considered to be more reliable than other methods. This method can provide better study findings because it can be applied to other fields in addition to the medical science field and the ripple effect is thought to be bigger in other science field too.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)200-213
    Number of pages14
    JournalSkin Research and Technology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr 28


    • Color analysis
    • Erythema
    • Irritant dermatitis
    • Skin color distribution analyzer (SCDA)

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Dermatology


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