Wheal and Flare Response (WFR)

The wheal and flare response (WFR) is the common reference to the triple response described by Lewis; erythema at site of injury, a spreading flare in the surrounding skin followed by pallor around the centre, as oedema develops due to leaking capillaries.

Wheal and flare response (WFR) can be induced by local introduction of histamine into the skin by lancet, intra-dermal injection or by micro-dialysis. The microvascular blood flow response is most graphically visualised by laser Doppler imaging or speckle imaging and enables the investigation of mechanisms of wheal and flare response (WFR) and treatments that inhibit it.

Equipment Recommendations

Laser Doppler imaging has been used historically and could still be used. However, the high spatial and time resolution offered by moorFLPI-2 laser speckle contrast imager make it the ideal system.

Laser Speckle Contrast Imager

Full-field, video frame rate blood flow imaging

Laser Speckle Imager | moorFLPI-2

What Next?

Contact us to discuss your specific needs and to request your copy of our free Application Note which includes a detailed experimental method and practical suggestions. We also offer no obligation on-site visits so you can test the equipment in your facility.


Clough GF and Church MK.
Vascular Responses in the Skin: an Accessible Model of Inflammation.
News Physiol Sci, 2002, 17: 170-174.

Clough G F, Church M K, Gush RJ, Lillington S, Somers MCS, Boggett DM.
Propagation of the Vasodilator Response assessed by Full-field Laser Doppler Perfusion Imaging (FLPI): a new, fast tissue blood flow imaging technique.
ESM, 2006.

Denham KJ, Boutsiouki P, Clough G F and Church MK.
Comparison of the effects of desloratadine and levocetirizine on histamine-induced wheal, flare and itch in human skin.
Inflamm. res. 2003; 52; 1–4.

Lewis T.
Vascular reactions of the skin to injury. I. Reaction to stroking; urticaria factitia.
Heart, 1924, 11, 119.

Lewis, T.
Local Means of Producing the Triple Response in the Blood Vessels of Human Skin and their Responses.
Chapter 4. 1927 London: Shaw & Son, p 46–64.