Title: Contact cooling of the skin.
Author: Altshuler GB, Zenzie HH, Erofeev AV, Smirnov MZ, Anderson RR, Dierickx C
Journal: Phys Med Biol 1999 Apr;44(4):1003-23
PMID: 10232811, UI: 99247796
Affiliated institution: Palomar Medical Products, Inc., Lexington, MA 02173, USA.
Skin precooling can be used to reduce epidermal thermal damage in laser procedures (such as hair removal) where the target structures are located up to several millimetres below the skin surface. We have developed and experimentally verified a computational model that describes contact precooling of a multilayered skin structure prior to laser irradiation. The skin surface is assumed to be brought into thermal contact with a cold plate made of material with a high thermal conductivity. The approximate analytical solution for the skin temperature is obtained by considering the plate as a local heat sink. The time evolution of temperature (in both the skin and the plate) is simulated numerically to yield the optimal cooling parameters. To experimentally verify the numerical results of the model, we performed direct measurements of skin temperature for contact cooling with a sapphire plate held at several different temperatures in the range +10 to -30 degrees C.