Computers May Be Used to Evaluate Facial Redness
Physicians and researchers may soon have a new computer-based process to help objectively assess the redness of subtype 1 (erythematotelangiectatic) rosacea, according to a recent report by researchers from the University of California-Davis.
Right now, the redness of rosacea is typically assessed visually by dermatologists using various scales to evaluate severity, such as the Clinician’s Erythema Assessment, a standard scale that has been demonstrated to be reliable in determining agreement among visual evaluations. Current assessments may also be assisted by photography.
In the new study, researchers investigated how an entirely autonomous computer-based algorithm for quantifying facial redness, or erythema, compared to the current method of evaluation. The investigators took pictures of 31 patients with subtype 1 rosacea with the new system, which takes images of the skin with three cameras and a cross-polarized lens to provide a visualization of redness beneath the skin.
The results suggested a strong correlation between clinical assessment by a health care provider and the computerbased objective measurement for redness intensity, redness distribution and overall redness severity, showing that the computer assessment corresponded to the dermatologists’ assessment and was an effective evaluation tool. The researchers said they hoped the new computer-based quantification of facial erythema might eventually become the preferred method of objective measure in future studies of facial redness.
However, they noted that additional studies are needed to assess how redness changes can be tracked within the same individual over time, especially after the use of medical therapy, and that it was not yet clear whether the system could be used to evaluate subtype 2 (papulopustular) rosacea.
Foolad N, Prakash N, Shi VY, Kamangar F, et al. The use of facial modeling and analysis to objectively quantify facial redness. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. Published online Nov. 4, 2015.
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