A Device for Thermal Clearance of the Skin

  • E. F. J. Ring


Thermal conductivity measurements can be made on the skin by a variety of probe designs. The basic essentials are to provide a heated surface and a thermocouple system to monitor skin temperature changes created by the heater. In certain situations the temperature gradient around the probe is found to be related to superficial blood flow. The presence of larger blood vessels and direction of blood flow can be significant factors in thermal conductivity measurements of tissue by this technique.1 Nevertheless, useful values for ‘thermal clearance’ of skin can be made, particularly when serial measurements are made from the same area.2 A special probe has been developed for this procedure which proves to give stable results. It is inexpensive and is constructed from the ceramic base of a potentiometer. The geometric structure of the probe is different from that of other workers.3,4 The heater is a 270o metal film track, and the thermocouples are placed in the center of the probe (Fig 1). Matched pairs of thermojunctions ranged around the periphery of the heater serve to monitor temperature difference between the area under the probe, and the area 2 cm beyond its circumference.


Nicotinic Acid Infrared Thermography Thermal Conductivity Measurement Ultra Violet Radiation Skin Erythema 
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  1. 1.
    B. H. Brown, C. Bygrave, P. Robinson, H. P. Henderson, A critique of the use of a thermal clearance probe for the measurement of skin blood flow, Clin. Phys. Physiol. Meas. 1; 3: 237–241 (1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    N. Britton, J. R. Barker, E. F. J. Ring, An assessment of the thermal clearance method for measuring perfusion, in: “Recent Advances in Medical Thermology,” Plenum, New York (1983).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    G. Holti, K. W. Mitchell, Estimation of the nutrient blood flow using a sequential thermal clearance, Clin. Exp. Derm. 3: 189 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    W. J. B. M. Van de Staak, A. J. M. Brakkec, H. E. De RiijkeHerweijer, J. Invest. Dermatol. 51: 149–154 (1968).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. F. J. Ring
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic DiseasesBathUK

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