Objective Color Measurements: Clinimetric Performance of Three Devices on Normal Skin and Scar Tissue

M.B.A. van der Wal, M. Bloemen, P. Verhaegen, W. Tuinebreijer, H. de Vet, P.P.M. van Zuijlen, E. Middelkoop

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Color measurements are an essential part of scar evaluation. Thus, vascularization (erythema) and pigmentation (melanin) are common outcome parameters in scar research. The aim of this study was to investigate the clinimetric properties and clinical feasibility of the Mexameter, Colorimeter, and the DSM II ColorMeter for objective measurements on skin and scars. Fifty scars with a mean age of 6 years (2 months to 53 years) were included. Reliability was tested using the single-measure interobserver intraclass correlation coefficient. Validity was determined by measuring the Pearson correlation with the Fitzpatrick skin type classification (for skin) and the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (for scar tissue). All three instruments provided reliable readings (intraclass correlation coefficient >= 0.83; confidence interval: 0.71-0.90) on normal skin and scar tissue. Parameters with the highest correlations with the Fitzpatrick classification were melanin (Mexameter), 0.72; ITA (Colorimeter), -0.74; and melanin (DSM II), 0.70. On scars, the highest correlations with the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale vascularization scores were the following: erythema (Mexameter), 0.59; LAB2 (Colorimeter), 0.69; and erythema (DSM II), 0.66. For hyperpigmentation, the highest correlations were melanin (Mexameter), 0.75; ITA (Colorimeter), -0.80; and melanin (DSM II), 0.83. This study shows that all three instruments can provide reliable color data on skin and scars with a single measurement. The authors also demonstrated that they can assist in objective skin type classification. For scar assessment, the most valid parameters in each instrument were identified. (J Burn Care Res 2013;34:e187-e194)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E187-E194
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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