Author(s): Griffiths CE, Wang TS, Hamilton TA, Voorhees JJ, Ellis CN
BACKGROUND AND DESIGN: The assessment of the severity of cutaneous photodamage and its response to treatment is an impractical consideration for most practitioners without extensive experience or recourse to high-quality, standardized, baseline photographs. To address this problem, a nine-point photonumeric standard scale was developed using photographs of subjects representing grades of photodamage from none to severe. This scale was formally tested in a side-by-side comparison with a conventional and widely used written descriptive scale. A panel of seven graders used both scales to score two sets of 25 photographs of photodamaged individuals, and the intergrader agreement and repeatability for the scales were calculated. RESULTS: The photonumeric scale demonstrated significantly greater agreement between graders than did the descriptive scale (chance-corrected agreements of 0.31 and 0.11, respectively, P less than .0001) with no significant difference in repeatability between the two methods. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that the photonumeric standard scale is superior to existing methodology in the accurate assessment of cutaneous photodamage and would be a useful adjunct to studies of the efficacy of skin repair agents for this indication.