Article

Morphometric study of skin grooves of the head and neck.

First Department of Anatomy, School of Dentistry, Showa University, Tokyo, Japan.
The Bulletin of Tokyo Dental College 06/1998; 39(2):109-18.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The skin surface contains furrows called wrinkles, Langer's lines, and skin grooves that are characteristic ultrastructures of the skin. When a skin incision line is determined, these features should be considered. Many studies have examined skin wrinkles, the number of which increases with age. Langer's lines have also been studied extensively in cadavers. However, these studies may not consistently reflect Langer's lines in living individuals. Most of the studies of skin grooves have examined dermatoglyphics such as fingerprinting, palm printing, and sole printing. Very few studies have examined skin grooves in other areas or quantified their characteristics. The present study analyzed skin grooves of the head and neck in relationship to age, sex, and region. Subjects consisted of 50 nursery school children aged 6 years, 50 college students aged 20 years, and 50 adults aged over 60 years. Impressions were obtained from: 1) forehead, 2) root of the nose, 3) lateral ocular angle, 4) cheek, and 5) neck. The samples were cut into cubes (5.0 x 5.0 x 1.0 mm) and ion-coated with Au-Pdin by a cool sputter coater. Then scanning electron micrographs (x 50) were taken and analyzed by computer morphometry CB-TASPER. Densities of skin grooves and the specific length representing the complexity of grooves per unit area were analyzed using computer morphometry CB-TASPER software. The density of skin grooves differed according to the area, especially among samples taken from the forehead, root of the nose, and the neck. Females had more grooves than males, particularly in the neck region. Skin grooves decreased with age; they appear to change and be absorbed by increasing wrinkles, thus becoming indistinct.

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