Cholesterol Advice

The Skin Cholesterol Test

Need to get your cholesterol levels tested? You would need a blood sample for the same. Or, may be not! Though cholesterol tests ideally involve blood, there is a new test called the skin cholesterol test that does not use your blood.

The skin cholesterol test is a non invasive way of measuring cholesterol levels. This test can help ascertain not just your cholesterol levels but also the risk of heart diseases. It can also tell you if you are dealing with any cardiovascular diseases at present.

How does it work?
It is a known fact that blood contains cholesterol. But, not many people know that the skin contains cholesterol too, though in very little amounts. The PREVU Point of Care (PREVU POC) Skin Cholesterol Test works by measuring this small amount of cholesterol present in the skin.

Blood vessels assist in the accumulation of cholesterol. The skin works on pretty much the same lines. When the cholesterol gets deposited on the walls of arteries, it is termed as atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis can have several unwanted effects such as peripheral vascular disease. Sometimes, it can even lead to fatal consequences such as a heart stroke or an attack.

The accumulation of cholesterol on the skin happens at the same rate as arteries. So, instead of extracting blood from arteries, the skin is used to ascertain the levels of cholesterol present in the body. Using the skin instead of blood works as a non-invasive method to determine the cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The process
During the PREVU POC tests, a chemical called digitonin is used. This chemical is placed within a hole in a pad. This holed pad is placed on the band. This chemical attaches itself to the cholesterol present in the skin. Another chemical is added to the same area of the skin. This chemical intends to bring about a color change depending upon the cholesterol levels present in the skin. A device called spectrophotometer is used to understand this color change. The greater the intensity of your color change, the higher will be the cholesterol levels.

Should you use this test?
There are both- pros and cons of this cholesterol test. On the positive side, this test being a non-invasive method does not require the use of any needles. Unlike other cholesterol tests, this one offers you the quickest results i.e. within five minutes. Besides, you do not need to fast before this test.

On the downside, this test cannot be considered as a complete replacement for a cholesterol blood test. It is only advisable for individuals who already have an established heart disease. In case you are dealing with any skin disease or allergy, this test is not advised for you.