Background/purpose: Skin microrelief has been studied using various methods and devices. However, the long duration of time needed to process one sample or the expensive equipment hampered the use of those systems for routine diagnosis. Today, the emergence of new software and hardware technologies may allow this issue to be resolved. Methods: To characterize objectively the skin surface, we introduced a new parameter SPm, namely, the area mean of superficial skin texture block formed by primary and secondary lines crossing each other. Based on the skin detector produced by the Boseview Technology Company, we developed a software for acquiring automatically skin images and calculating SPm. The relationship between SPm and age was studied on the dorsal and ventral midway of the forearm (sun-exposed and sun-protected areas) of 94 healthy volunteers without a history of smoking. Results: The skin surface topography can be conveniently quantified with the new parameter SPm. The value of SPm of both sites increases with age, independent of sex, with the site more exposed to light being more affected. Conclusion: With the software developed, the details of the skin surface can be observed. SPm appears to be a new valid parameter for characterizing the property of the skin surface. Our method, alone or in combination with other technologies of skin topography analysis may be applied in routine diagnosis for a quantified evaluation of skin aging.