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Dermatology Online Journal

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The association of the sebum excretion rate with melasma, erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, and rhytides


Background: Rosacea and melasma are two common skin conditions in dermatology. Both conditions have a predilection for the centrofacial region where the sebaceous gland density is the highest. However it is not known if sebaceous function has an association with these conditions.

Aims and Objectives: We aimed to assess the relationship between facial glabellar wrinkle severity and facial sebum excretion rate for individuals with rosacea, melasma, both conditions, and in those with rhytides. Secondly, the purpose of this study was to utilize high resolution 3D facial modeling and measurement technology to obtain information regarding glabellar rhytid count and severity.

Materials and Methods: A total of 21 subjects participated in the study. Subjects were divided into four groups based on facial features: rosacea-only, melasma-only, rosacea and melasma, rhytides-only. A high resolution facial photograph was taken followed by measurement of facial sebum excretion rate (SER).

Results: The SER was found to decline with age and with the presence of melasma. The SER negatively correlated with increasing Wrinkle Severity Rating Scale. Through the use of 3D facial modeling and skin analysis technology, we found a positive correlation between clinically based grading scores and computer generated glabellar rhytid count and severity.

Conclusion: Continuing research with facial modeling and measurement systems will allow for development of more objective facial assessments. Future studies need to assess the role of technology in stratifying the severity and subtypes of rosacea and melasma. Furthermore, the role of sebaceous regulation may have important implications in photoaging.

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