The Surface of the Skin — The Microrelief

  • J. L. Leveque
  • P. Corcuff


The surface of a body is by definition its outer part which limits it in any direction. More importantly, it is the visible covering of the body. This simple fact has considerable sociological importance, which immediately justifies the interest that researchers have taken in studying the skin for the past 10 years or so. First of all, the surface of the skin is largely what we perceive of others, and this type of received information will be, at first, the basis of judgements concerning a whole series of related criteria (pleasant or unpleasant, young or old, healthy or sick, aggressive or not, etc). In addition to the olfactory aspects of an encounter between two individuals, contact can be established by touch, which is a highly developed sense. Very little is yet known about its physiology, but it involves physical contact of two surfaces which, as we shall see later, have a very complex organization. The very important part played by appearance, and hence by the skin surface, in social relations has now been acknowledged and scientifically described [1]. It gives additional significance and responsibility to dermatology and cosmetology.


Atopic Dermatitis Stratum Corneum Skin Surface Dermal Papilla Primary Line 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Graham JA, Kligman AM (1985) Physical attractiveness, cosmetic use and self perception in the elderly Int J Cosmet Sci 7 /2: 85–98Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hashimoto K (1974) New methods for surface ultrastructure: comparative studies or scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and replica method. Int J Dermatol 13: 357–381PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Feder M, Burggren W (1986) Comment respire la peau des vertébrés. Science Jan: 68–77Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Corcuff P, de Rigal J., Leveque JL (1982) Image analysis of the cutaneous microrelief. Inter-national conference on bioengineering and the skin, Philadelphia, 1981. Bioeng Skin 4 1: 16–31Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Langer K (1978) On the anatomy and physiology of the skin Br J Plast Surg 31: 3–8, 96–106, 185–199Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Corcuff P (1985) Stereology of the skin surface: a comparison between aging and U. V. induced damages. In: Morganti P. Montagna W (eds) International symposium: a new look at old skin Rome 1985. International Ediemme Rome, pp 157–163Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Corcuff P, de Rigal J, Leveque JL, Makki S, Agache P (1983) Skin relief and aging. J Soc Cosmet Chem 34: 177–190Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Makki S, Agache P, Masouy P (1981) Quantitative assessment of skin aging through surface microtopography measurements. J Invest Dermatol 76: 428–433Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Piérard GE, Franchimont C, Lapiere CM (1980) Aging as shown by the microanatomy and the physical properties of the skin. Int. J. Cosmet. Sci. 2 4: 209–214PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Piérard GE, Hermanns JF, Lapiere CH (1974) Stéréologie de l’interface dermoépidermique. Dermatologica 149: 266–273PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Schellander F, Headington J (1974) The stratum corneum — some structural and functional correlates. Br J Dermatol 91: 507–515PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ferguson J, Barbenel JC (1981) Skin surface patterns and the directional mechanical properties of the dermis. Marks R, Payne PA (eds) Bioengineering and the skin MTP, Lancaster, pp. 83–92Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Takahashi M, Marks R (1986) Conformational and functional changes in the stratum corneum after forced extension. Bioeng Skin 2: 39–48Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Corcuff P, Gracia AM, de Lacharriere O, Leveque JL (1989) Image analysis of the skin microrelief as a noninvasive method to approach the dermal architecture. In: Piérard G, Piérard-Franchimont C (eds) The Dermis — from biology to diseases — monographies dermato pathologiques liégeoises. Franchimont, pp. 102–113Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ishida T, Kashibuchi M, Morita K, Yuasa S (1979) Measurements of skin roughness by computerized surface tracing and applications in cosmetics efficacy substantiation. CosmetToil 94: 39–47Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Marks R, Pearse AD (1975) Surformetry: a method of evaluating the internal structure of the stratum corneum. Br J. Dermatol 92: 651–657PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Makki S, Barbenel JC, Agache P (1979) A quantitative method for the assessment of the microtopography of human skin. Acta Derm Venereol (Stockh) 59: 285–291Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Aubert L, Brun A, Grollier JF, Leveque JL (1982) A method to show the influence of cosmetic products on the cutaneous microrelief. Cosmet. Technol. Sci. 3: 265–270Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kadner H, Biesold C (1971) Zur Technik der Rauhigkeitsmessung der Hautoberfläche mit dem Perth-O-Meter. Dermatol Monatsschr. 157: 758–759PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Cook TH (1980) Profilometry of skin — a useful tool for the substantation of cosmetic efficacy. J Soc Cosmet Chem 31: 339–359Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Agache P, Mignot J, Makki S (1988) Microtopography of the skin and aging. Cutaneous aging 1: 475–499Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Mandelbrot B (1975) Les objets fractals — forme, hasard et dimension. Flammarion, ParisGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Nakayama Y (1985) Applications of image analysis to the microtopography of aging skin surface J Appl Cosmet 3:106 (abstr)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Tankosic P, Burlet C (1986) Morphometric analysis of anisotropic and multioriented structures by use of an electronic image analyser (Quantimet 720): application to the study of the human cutaneous microrelief. Acta Stereolog 5 /1: 87–92Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hoppe U, Sauermann G (1985) Quantitative analysis of the skin’s surface by means of digital image processing J Soc Cosmet Chem 36: 105–123Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Barton SP, Marshall RJ, Marks R (1989) Anovel method for assessing skin surface topography. Bioeng Skin 3: 93–107Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Gormley DE (1985) Automated optical profilometry. Bioengineering and the skin — San Francisco meeting, Sept. 1985Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hoppe U (1979) Topologie der Hautoberfläche. J Soc Cosmet Chem 30: 213–239Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Corcuff P, Chatenay F, Leveque JL (1984) A fully automated system to study skin surface patterns. Int. J. Cosmet Sci 6: 167–176PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Imayama S, Braverman IM (1989) A hypothetical explanation for the aging of skin. Am J Pathol 134 /5: 1019–1025PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Corcuff P, Francois AM, Leveque JL, Porte G (1988) Microrelief changes in chronically sun- exposed human skin. Photodermatology 5: 92–95PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Kligman LH, Kligman AM (1985) Cutaneous photoaging by ultraviolet radiation. In: Maibach H, Lowe NJ (eds) Models in dermatology, vol 1. Karger, Basel, pp 59–68Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Kligman LH (1986) Prevention and repair of actinic damage to skin. J. Soc. Cosmet. Chem. 37: 44Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Linde YW, Bengtsson A, Loden M (1989) Dry skin in atopic dermatitis. Acta Derm Venereol 69: 311–319PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Chanteloube F, Poulain E, Meybeck A (1982) Efficacy evaluation of anti-wrinkle products Cosmet Technol Sci 3: 277–281Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Corcuff P, Chatenay F, Brun A (1985) Evaluation of anti-wrinkle effects on humans, Int J Cosmet Sci 7: 117–126PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Bryce GF, Bogdan NJ, Brown CC (1988) Retinoic acids promote the repair of the dermal damage and the effacement of wrinkles in the UVB irradiated hairless mouse. J Invest Dermatol 91: 175–180PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Grove GL, Grove MJ (1989) Optical profilometry: an objective method for quantification of facial wrinkles. J Am Acad. Dermatol. 3 /2: 631–737CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Leveque
  • P. Corcuff
    • 1
  1. 1.Departement de BiophysiqueLaboratoires de Recherche de L’OREALAulnay sous BoisFrance

Personalised recommendations