The skin can be thought of as a screen upon which the internal structures of the body project. Certain areas of the skin correspond to particular organs and tissues deep within the body. Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) is a non-invasive clinical imaging procedure that demonstrates thermal patterns present on the skin that may be indicative of internal dysfunction.
A thermal image correlates with surface temperature only. It records the temperature of the outer 5mm of the skin, nothing more. It can’t “see” a tumor. In fact, it doesn’t see structure at all. It is an indication of physiology, not anatomy. So how does a thermogram detect changes deep in the body if it only records skin temperature? A thermogram detects physiologic change deep within the body through the abundant neural pathways of the sympathetic nervous system. Pathology within the body affects the surrounding sympathetic neural fibers which relay the message to the skin surface where the local temperature changes. The thermographic camera easily senses these changes, which are displayed on a computer screen where each temperature is assigned a color. Red is assigned to the areas that are the warmest, and blue to the areas that are the coolest, with a spectrum of colors assigned to temperatures in between. Every individual has a unique thermal pattern, known as a “thermal fingerprint.” This “fingerprint” is remarkably stable, changing very little over a lifetime. Only when pathology develops does the pattern change. These changes are seen by the interpreting physician, who correlates the findings with your history and symptoms and generates a report which is sent to either you or your health care provider.