We use terahertz imaging to measure four human skin scars in vivo. Clear contrast between the refractive index of the scar and surrounding tissue was observed for all of the scars, despite some being difficult to see with the naked eye. Additionally, we monitored the healing process of a hypertrophic scar. We found that the contrast in the absorption coefficient became less prominent after a few months post-injury, but that the contrast in the refractive index was still significant even months post-injury. Our results demonstrate the capability of terahertz imaging to quantitatively measure subtle changes in skin properties and this may be useful for improving scar treatment and management.
Fan, S., Ung, B. S. Y., Parrott, E. P. J., Wallace, V. P., & Pickwell-Macpherson, E. (2017). In vivo terahertz reflection imaging of human scars during and after the healing process. Journal of Biophotonics, 10(9), 1143-1151. https://doi.org/10.1002/jbio.201600171