Quantification of cutaneous allergic reactions using 3D optical imaging: A feasibility study

Mark D. den Blanken, Sebastiaan van der Bent, Niels Liberton, Matthijs Grimbergen, Mark B.M. Hofman, Ruud Verdaasdonk, Thomas Rustemeyer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


Background: User-independent quantitative measures of cutaneous allergic reactions can help the physicians manage and evaluate the treatment of cutaneous allergic reactions. In this paper, we present and validate a method to quantify the elevation, volume and area of cutaneous allergic reactions to red tattoos. Methods: The skin surface of allergic tattoo reactions was imaged using an optical 3D scanner. The in-house developed analysis tool measured the elevation, volume and area of the lesions, compared to a reference surface. This reference surface was created by 3D interpolation of the skin after manual removal of the lesions. The error of the interpolation tool was validated using a digital arm model. The error of our optical scanner was determined using a 3D printed lesion phantom. The clinical feasibility of the method was tested in 83 lesions in 17 patients. Results: The method showed clear potential to assess skin elevation, volume change and area of an allergic reaction. The validation measurements revealed that the error due to interpolation increases for larger interpolation areas and largely determined the error in the clinical measurements. Lesions with a width ≥4 mm and an elevation ≥0.4 mm could be measured with an error below 26%. Patient measurements showed that lesions up to 600 mm2 could be measured accurately, and elevation and volume changes could be assessed at follow-up. Conclusion: Quantification of cutaneous allergic reactions to red tattoos using 3D optical scanning is feasible and may objectify skin elevation and improve management of the allergic reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalSkin research and technology
Issue number1
Early online date18 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • allergic reaction
  • elevation
  • lichenoid
  • optical scanner
  • phantom
  • red
  • skin
  • tattoo ink
  • volume
  • 3D scanner


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