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In order to make thermal imaging a universally acceptable clinical technique, one must try to understand what is being observed, and what the observation signifies. One must also prove the validity of hypotheses about underlying causes of a given local hyper or hypothermia. Such an understanding is absolutely necessary before one can adapt the available technology to meet given clinical needs effectively. This paper demonstrates that such an understanding is now developing and will lead to a far better utilization of infrared imaging technology.