Development of a quantitative assessment method of pigmentary skin disease using ultraviolet optical imaging

Onseok Lee, Sunup Park, Jaeyoung Kim, Chil Hwan Oh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Background/Purpose: The visual scoring method has been used as a subjective evaluation of pigmentary skin disorders. Severity of pigmentary skin disease, especially melasma, is evaluated using a visual scoring method, the MASI (melasma area severity index). This study differentiates between epidermal and dermal pigmented disease. The study was undertaken to determine methods to quantitatively measure the severity of pigmentary skin disorders under ultraviolet illumination. Methods: The optical imaging system consists of illumination (white LED, UV-A lamp) and image acquisition (DSLR camera, air cooling CMOS CCD camera). Each camera is equipped with a polarizing filter to remove glare. To analyze images of visible and UV light, images are divided into frontal, cheek, and chin regions of melasma patients. Each image must undergo image processing. To reduce the curvature error in facial contours, a gradient mask is used. Results: The new method of segmentation of front and lateral facial images is more objective for face-area-measurement than the MASI score. Image analysis of darkness and homogeneity is adequate to quantify the conventional MASI score. Under visible light, active lesion margins appear in both epidermal and dermal melanin, whereas melanin is found in the epidermis under UV light. Conclusion: This study objectively analyzes severity of melasma and attempts to develop new methods of image analysis with ultraviolet optical imaging equipment. Based on the results of this study, our optical imaging system could be used as a valuable tool to assess the severity of pigmentary skin disease.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)563-572
    Number of pages10
    JournalSkin Research and Technology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 1


    • gradient mask
    • image analysis
    • optical imaging system
    • pigmentary skin disease
    • segmentation
    • ultraviolet

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Dermatology


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