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Can body mass index influence the skin temperature of adolescents? A preliminary study with the use of infrared thermography

O índice de massa corporal pode influenciar a temperatura da pele de adolescentes? Um estudo preliminar com o uso da termografia infravermelha


Infrared thermography (IRT) has been used to assess skin temperature (Tsk), especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, as an important tool in medical screening not only of the general population, but also of young athletes. However, the subcutaneous adipose tissue can act as an insulator when the Tsk is assessed by IRT, modifying the normal Tsk data and leading to their misinterpretation. Considering that the body mass index (BMI) is an important predictor of obesity, the objective of this study was to verify if the Tsk measured by IRT is affected by the BMI in adolescents. A preliminary study was carried out being four participants intentionally selected, all 16 years old, each one classified in a different BMI range according to the criteria of the World Health Organization for the adolescent population: underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obesity. Four thermograms of each participant were recorded and the ThermoHuman® software was used to evaluate 82 regions of interest (ROI), which were integrated into 6 body regions. Using healthy weight subjects as a reference, it was found a progressive reduction in Tsk in all ROI compared to overweight and obese participants, with emphasis on the anterior region of the trunk (3.04% and 6.69% less respectively), and an increase in the Tsk of all body regions for the underweight subject. There are indications that BMI can influence the Tsk value in adolescents and should be taken into account when analyzing thermograms for a correct evaluation of thermal normality.

Adiposity; Adolescent; Body composition; Body temperature regulation

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