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Lennart Emtestam group

Skin diseases

The group has since the 1980s worked with non-invasive measuring techniques for aid in the diagnosis of the skin. The methods are based on the principle that pathological tissue has different physical properties compared to normal skin.


Lennart Emtestam, Group Leader, Professor

He is a physician at the Department of Dermatology, Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm. He was appointed Professor of Karolinska Institutet in 2003. He manages the skin disease research group at the Unit of Infectious Diseases and Dermatology.

Phone: +46 (0)8-58 58 19 95

Toomas Talme, Docent
Eva Björnelius, Med Dr
Jan Lapins, Med Dr
Peter Lidbrink, Docent
Hassan Killasli, Student
Susanna Lidman, Secretary


1. Skin cancer diagnostic tool using electrical impedance spectroscopy

This project includes work with a non-invasive tool based on electrical impedance for distinguishing various pathological tissue from normal skin. The project is under commercialization.

Main collaborator:

  • Stig Ollmar, Karolinska Institutet


  • Edvard Welander Foundation
  • Finsen foundation
  • Cancer and Allergy Foundation
  • Stockholm City Council
  • Karolinska Institutet

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2. Skin cancer diagnostic tool based on micromachined interface for high-resolution THz spectroscopy (MTSSC)

This project focuses on developing a micromachined interface for microwave/THz characterization of skin tissue, mainly for distinguishing skin anomalies from healthy tissue and for distinguishing malignant and benign skin tumors.


  • KTH-EE-MST-RF MEMS (Joachim Oberhammer)
  • Uppsala University (UU) - Signals and Systems (Anders Rydberg)
  • Optiga AB (Lars Tenerz)


  • Vinnova
  • Edvard Welander Foundation
  • Finsen Foundation

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3. Hidradenitis suppurativa

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a cicatrizing and frequently persistent inflammatory disorder of the sebaceous follicles and terminal hair follicles of apocrine gland-bearing areas in the adult. This project started in the 1980s and focuses on investigating different aspects of the disease, including treatment, etiology and epidemiology. Two important contributions to the scientific community from the group: First, a minimal-invasive carbon dioxide laser treatment was developed by Jan Lapins. Second, the internationally established "Sartorius Score" a disease severity assessment tool was proposed by Karin Sartorius.


  • Copenhagen University (Gregor Jemec)
  • University Hospital of Northern Norway (Gisli Ingvarsson)


  • Edvard Welander Foundation
  • Finsen foundation
  • Cancer and Allergy Foundation
  • Stockholm City Council
  • Karolinska Institutet

Selected publications

Show all publications (PubMed)

Bacteriology of hidradenitis suppurativa exacerbations and deep tissue cultures obtained during carbon dioxide laser treatment.
Sartorius K, Killasli H, Oprica C, Sullivan A, Lapins J
Br. J. Dermatol. 2012 Apr;166(4):879-83




What causes hidradenitis suppurativa?
Kurzen H, Kurokawa I, Jemec G, Emtestam L, Sellheyer K, Giamarellos-Bourboulis E, et al
Exp. Dermatol. 2008 May;17(5):455-6; discussion 457-72

Lapins J, Emtestam L. Chirugie. In: Hidradénite Suppurée. pp. 175-189. Jemec GB, Revuz J, Leyden J (Eds). Springer-Verlag France, Paris, 2008.

Evaluation of the effects of topical clobetasol propionate by visual score, electrical impedance and laser Doppler flowmetry.
Emtestam L, Kuzmina N, Talme T
Skin Res Technol 2007 Feb;13(1):73-8

Bacteraemia in patients with hidradenitis suppurativa undergoing carbon dioxide laser surgery: detection and quantification of bacteria by lysis-filtration.
Sartorius K, Lapins J, Jalal S, Emtestam L, Hedberg M
Dermatology (Basel) 2006 ;213(4):305-12

Effects of pretreatment with a urea-containing emollient on nickel allergic skin reactions.
Kuzmina N, Nyrén M, Lodén M, Edlund F, Emtestam L
Acta Derm. Venereol. 2005 ;85(1):9-12

Incidence of cancer among patients with atopic dermatitis.
Hagströmer L, Ye W, Nyrén O, Emtestam L
Arch Dermatol 2005 Sep;141(9):1123-7

Non-invasive preoperative assessment of basal cell carcinoma of nodular and superficial types.
Kuzmina N, Talme T, Lapins J, Emtestam L
Skin Res Technol 2005 Aug;11(3):196-200