Constitution-specific features of perspiration and skin visco-elasticity in SCM
Medical Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 305-811, Republic of Korea
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:24 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-24Published: 15 January 2014
Human skin properties have been used as an important diagnostic component in traditional medicine as they change with health conditions. Sasang constitutional medicine (SCM) puts emphasis on the recognition of the constitution-specific skin features prior to the diagnostic decision of health. In this work, in search of skin-characteristics effectively reflecting SCM features, we compared several skin properties such as perspiration, visco-elasticity, elasticity, and elasticity hysteresis, in several candidate body parts.
We conducted a clinical study in which a total of 111 healthy females aged 50 – 70 years participated with their Sasang constitution (SC) types determined objectively by the Sasang constitutional analytic tool. Perspiration on the skin surface was estimated by using a capacitance sensor to measure the amount of moisture on the palm, forehead, and philtrum before and after a heating stimulus. We acquired the visco-elasticity, elasticity, and elasticity hysteresis at the forearm by Dermalab’s elasticity sensing device. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted to evaluate the effect of SC on the nine skin features acquired.
The visco-elasticity of the forearm of the Soeum-in (SE) group was significantly lower than that of the Taeeum-in (TE) group (F = 68.867, p < 0.001), whereas the elasticity hysteresis of the SE group was higher than that of the TE group (F = 10.364, p < 0.01). The TE group had more perspiration on the forehead than the SE group (F = 9.050, p < 0.01). The SE group had a large perspiration difference between the philtrum and the forehead compared with the TE group (F = 7.892, p < 0.01).
We found four significant skin features that reflect the inherent constitutional attributes of the TE and SE groups in accordance with SCM literature; the visco-elasticity, elasticity hysteresis, perspiration on the forehead and philtrum. Our findings are based on a novel interpretation of the SCM literature and will contribute to developing the constitutional health status evaluation system in SCM.