Exercise has a noted effect on skin blood flow and temperature. We aimed to characterize the normal skin temperature response to exercise by thermographic imaging. A study was conducted on ten healthy and active subjects (age=25.8 ± 0.7 years) who were exposed to graded exercise for determination of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max), and subsequently to constant loads corresponding to 50%, 70%, and 90% of VO2 max. The skin temperature response during 20 min of constant load exercise is characterized by an initial descending limb, an ascending limb and a quasi-steady-state period. For 50% VO2 the temperature decrease rate was --0.0075±0.001°C/s during a time interval of 390 ±47 s and the temperature increase rate was 0.0055 ± 0.0031 °C/s during a time interval of 484 ±99 s. The level of load did not influence the temperature decrease and increase rates. In contrast, during graded load exercise, a continuous temperature decrease of --0.0049 ± 0.0032 °C/s was observed throughout the test. In summary, the thermographic skin response to exercise is characterized by a specific pattern which reflects the dynamic balance between hemodynamic and thermoregulatory processes.
PAC98: 8722Pg, 8759Wc, 8745Dr, 0180+b, 8745Hw