Skin temperature differences between men and women

Skin temperature differences between men and women

31/03/2021 By: Ismael Fernández Cuevas y Víctor Escamilla Galindo Home

Thermohuman brings you relevant scientific outcomes. Today we will speak about skin temperature differences between men and women.

This post is based on the work published by Monika Chudecka and Anna Lubkowska from University of Szczecin in 2015, analyzing the thermal maps of young women and men. Both authors are very active researchers, with outstanding publications in the recent years about infrared thermography in relation to women, sport, cryostimulation and newborns, among other topics.

With this study, the authors aimed to establish a thermal map of young participants, with a high diagnostic support value for medicine, physiotherapy and sport. A further aim was to establish temperature distributions and ranges on the body surface of the young women and men as standard temperatures for the examined age group, taking into account Body Mass Index (BMI), body surface area and selected parameters of body fat distribution.

“Only in the area of the chest was significantly warmer in women than in men. In the areas of the hands were similar for both. In the other analyzed body surface areas, mean skin temperature was significantly higher in men”

Chudecka & Lubkowska (2015)

Among other conclusions, the authors found “significant differences in body surface temperature between the women and men. This may have been due to a significantly higher skeletal muscle mass in men (it is known that contracting muscles produce heat) and lower body fat than in women (in which thicker subcutaneous fat may serve as an insulator for endogenous heat)“.

In addition to that, both in women and men, mean skin temperature in the chest, upper back, abdomen and lower back were mainly correlated to two parameters: Body Mass Index (BMI) and Percentage of Body Fat (PBF). These correlations were inverse, thus the higher BMI and PBF the lower skin temperature.

Skin temperature gradient from the head, hip and foot established by Uematsu (1985). One of the first and more illustrative representations of a human thermal map

Establishing a thermal map (or thermal profile) has been one of the main topics in the latest decades for thermography researchers working with humans (Uematsu, 1985; Uematsu et al., 1988; Bouzas Marins et al., 2014). The idea behind is based on creating a “normalized” description of the skin temperature for different populations, so it will provide a reference for health and sport professionals to establish what is thermally “normal” and what might be thermally “abnormal”. Nevertheless, this topic has also been controversial since it is mainly based on absolute skin temperatures, which make the results extremely dependent on the influence factors and an optimal protocol application.

The authors concluded that Infrared Thermography is a safe non-invasive method, free of side effects for recording body surface temperatures and their changes, and may be used as an important diagnostic support parameter in medicine, physiotherapy and sport.


REFERENCES

Bouzas Marins, J. C., Andrade Fernandes, A., Piñonosa Cano, S., Gomes Moreira, D., Souza da Silva, F., Amaral Costa, C. M., . . . Sillero-Quintana, M. (2014). Thermal body patterns for healthy Brazilian adults (male and female). Journal of Thermal Biology, 42(0), 1-8. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtherbio.2014.02.020

Chudecka, M., & Lubkowska, A. (2015). Thermal maps of young women and men. Infrared Physics & Technology69, 81-87.

Uematsu, S. (1985). Symmetry of Skin Temperature Comparing One Side of the Body to the other. Thermology, 1, 4-7. 

Uematsu, S., Edwin, D. H., Jankel, W. R., Kozikowski, J., & Trattner, M. (1988). Quantification of thermal asymmetry. Part 1: Normal values and reproducibility. J Neurosurg, 69(4), 552-555. doi: 10.3171/jns.1988.69.4.0552

Europa Thermohuman ThermoHuman has had the support of the Funds of the European Union and the Community of Madrid through the Operational Programme on Youth Employment. Likewise, ThermoHuman within the framework of the Export Initiation Program of ICEX NEXT, had the support of ICEX and the co-financing of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).