Biomechanical Properties of the Skin: Interest of the Tactile Clinical Approach by Eurofins

23 September 2021

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic meant that many preventive measures against the virus were immediately implemented in Eurofins clinical research organisations. Therefore, the visual clinical examination of the skin was often chosen instead of the tactile examination.  However, the tactile clinical assessment is still valuable for assessing the biomechanical properties of the skin.

In the field of skin research, the tactile examination will first stretch the skin slightly, then relax it, in order to assess

  • the skin’s firmness (resistance to stretching),
  • elasticity (return to the initial position after stretching),
  • tonicity,
  • suppleness

Then they look for dehydration lines, by slightly mobilising the skin surface on the cheeks. Finally, the passage of the finger over the skin surface allows us to feel any wrinkles, defining the roughness, or on the contrary the softness, and the smoothness in the absence of perceptible wrinkles.

On the body, the tactile examination assesses cellulite on thighs, and in particular the dimples before and after pinching the skin.

On hair, the tactile evaluation makes it possible to evaluate

  • the greasiness of the scalp,
  • the hair mass,
  • the softness of the hair, a
  • nd also hair loss (pull test).

Eurofins Experts use different scoring scales: either classic published scales, scales developed by theirselves, or those specific to the clients.

The lack of references in tactile evaluation compared to visual evaluation makes the notion of training the evaluator essential, reinforcing the “memory of tactile sensation”, supported by the precise definition of each scoring grade.

This tactile clinical approach completes the visual, subjective and instrumental evaluations of the biomechanical properties of the skin, demonstrating our expertise and the completeness of the offering proposed by Eurofins.


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