Volume 18 (1999) Issue 6 Pages 195-201
In this study, we measured the shape of the face, legs, hands and fingers during the course of a day to determine the amount of swelling. We examined the relationship between the perception of swelling and the degree of actual swelling, and considered the influence of seasonal factors. The topology of the face was measured using the 3D curved shape measuring apparatus, VOXELAN, while the circumference of the legs and fingers and the volume of the hands were also recorded. The measurements were used to determine the amount of change in each parameter, which was then used to determine the degree of swelling. The subjects for the experiment were 10 healthy Japanese women aged 24 to 30 years of standard build (BMI:19.3-25.0). Measurements were carried out twice a day in the mornings and afternoon, first between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. and then between 4:00 and 5:30 p.m. At each measurement session, subjects were asked if they perceived swelling to have occurred. We investigated the relationship between the degree of actual swelling and the reported perception of swelling. We also investigated the influence of seasonal factors by conducting the same tests on the same subjects in summer (August 1997) and in winter (February-March 1998). The relationship between perceived and actual swelling differs depending on the part of the body. For the face, actual swelling correlates strongly with perceived swelling. This trend is particularly noticeable for the upper eyelids. For the thigh and lower leg, on the other hand, there was no significant difference. The frequency with which subjects reported the perception of swelling varied depending on the area of the body, and was generally extremely low for the thighs, hands and fingers. With respect to seasonal variation, swelling in the face, hands and feet tended to be more pronounced during the summer. In the facial region, the biggest difference was in the lower eyelid, where swelling increased more than five times. This level of variation suggests that the atmospheric temperature is the main factor affecting swelling.